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Disney+ Hotstar ARPU Dips in Q2FY21

Disney+ Hotstar saw a massive dip in its average revenue per user (ARPU) for the Q2 ended on April 3, 2021, on the back of lower advertising revenue from its flagship cricketing property the Indian Premier League (IPL). The streaming service got just $0.2 (about Rs 14.7) from each subscriber per month in this quarter compared to $0.91 per month in the previous quarter. Disney’s CEO Christine McCarthy said that Disney+’s overall monthly ARPU for the quarter was $3.99. She attributed the decline in Disney+ Hotstar ARPU to lower advertising revenue from the IPL tournament, which has for now been suspended because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Majority of the prior IPL tournament took place in fiscal Q1 and there were no games in Q2. The current IPL tournament began on April 9, in fiscal Q3, and was suspended last week, given the Covid-19 situation in India,” McCarthy said. While Disney+ Hotstar continues to be the strongest contributor to Disney+’s paid membership growth for the quarter, subscriber additions slowed down after a pandemic-driven boost in the past few quarters, similar to rival Netflix Inc.

Disney+ Hotstar added about 2.5 million subscribers during the quarter, taking its overall base to 31 million subscribers. The service accounted for nearly a third of Disney+’s total subscriber base that currently stands at 103.6 million at the end of the second quarter, McCarthy said. Overall, Disney+ saw 8.7 million paying subscribers during the quarter. Revenues from Disney’s direct-to-consumer segment grew 59 per cent YoY to $4 billion for the quarter from $2.5 billion last year, while net losses reduced to $290 million for the quarter from $805 million a year ago. “We are on track to achieve our guidance of 230 million to 260 million subscribers by the end of fiscal 2024” Disney CEO Bob Chapek said.

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