Advanced Television

Disney to axe 7,000 staff; loses streaming subs

February 9, 2023

By Nik Roseveare

The Walt Disney Company has announced a major restructuring under reinstated CEO Bob Iger, which will see some 7,000 jobs cut – an estimated 3.6 per cent of its global workforce – as part of an effort to save $5.5 billion (€5.1bn) in costs, and make its streaming business profitable.

Iger specified he intends to reorganise the company into three segments: an entertainment unit that encompasses film, television and streaming; a sports-focused ESPN unit; and Disney parks, experiences and products.

“This reorganisation will result in a more cost-effective, co-ordinated approach to our operations,” Iger told analysts on a conference call. “We are committed to running efficiently, especially in a challenging environment.”

Disney is the latest media company to announce job cuts in amidst the cost of living crisis. The likes of Netflix, Meta and Microsoft have also made significant layoffs in recent weeks.

Meanwhile, Disney’s Q1 results showed a dip in Disney+ subscribers largely due to the absence of the Indian Premier League cricket tournament on its Indian brand, Disney+ Hotstar. The streaming service reported a total of 161.8 million global subscribers, a decrease of 2.4 million from the previous quarter. It marked the first time the service has reported a fall in subscribers. However, streaming losses narrowed to $1.1 billion in the quarter against a loss of $1.5 billion in the fourth quarter.

Disney’s other streaming services, Hulu and ESPN+, saw gains of 800,000 and 600,000 subscribers, respectively. Hulu now has 48 million subscribers, and ESPN+ has 24.9 million.

Total revenue stood at $23.51 billion – a rise of 8 per cent and ahead of estimates.

With regards to future content, Iger added: I’m so pleased to announce that we have sequels in the works from our animation studios to some of our most popular franchises: Toy Story, Frozen and Zootopia. We’ll have more to share about this soon, but this is a great example of how we’re leaning into our unrivalled brands and franchises.”

Categories: Articles, Business, Premium, Results, VOD

Tags: , , , ,