Disney Will Be Spending $14-$16 Billion On All Streaming Content By 2024 As It Ramps Up Production

Walt Disney said it will be forking out $14-$16 billion in content spending in fiscal 20204 on streaming services Disney+, Hulu and ESPN+ as it ramps up original series and films to the tune of 100 a year.

Between $8-9 billion of that will go to Disney+, said CFO Christine McCarthy towards the end of marathon investor meeting Thursday. That’s at least double what was initially anticipated due to surging investment on original content — with over 100 projects unspooled today — across its five key brands, in particular Marvel and Star Wars, and local production for international markets.

She anticipated Disney+ and its international iterations will hit between 230-260 million total paid subscribers by that year. The service will reach its peak year of losses in fiscal 2021 and hit profitability in 2024. Disney+ Hotstar could make up between 30-40% of the subscriber base.

She expects Hulu will have 50-60 million subs by the end of 2024, including its Hulu Plus Live TV service. It will hit profitability in fiscal 2023. Disney’s fiscal year ends in September.

And ESPN+ will garner 20-30 million subscribers by the ennd of 2024, she predicted, and reach profitability the year before, in 2023.

As a testament to how dramatically streaming has reshaped the business, the company starting in the current fiscal first quarter will condense its financial reporting lines into two – media and entertainment and Disney parks, experiences and products. That follows a revamp of its management into two main content and distribution groups. 

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