Disney’s streaming business has continued to grow – but its losses are rising too.
The media giant said it had added more than 12 million subscribers to its Disney+ streaming platform in the three months ended in September.
But the unit lost nearly $1.5bn – a hit that weighed on the company’s overall bottom line.
Chief executive Bob Chapek said Disney+ had reached a “turning point” and would become profitable by 2024.
“We believe we are on a path to a profitable streaming business, assuming that we do not see a meaningful shift in the economic climate,” he said on a conference call to discuss the firm’s results.
Disney has poured billions of dollars into its streaming platforms in recent years, remaking itself from a company rooted in traditional television and movies into one of the streaming industry’s major players.
The company now counts more than 235 million subscriptions across its three streaming platforms, which also include the sports-focused ESPN+ and wider enterainment site Hulu.
Netflix, by comparison, has about 223 million subscribers.
As it turns its focus to profitability, Disney has announced plans to raise prices and introduce a version of Disney+ with adverts.
Overall the company said revenues rose 9% in the three months ended in September, and were up 23% for its financial year.
It reported profits of $162m, up from $159m last year.
That was lower than analysts had expected, sending shares down more than 5% in after-hours trade.
The firm was also hurt by weakness in its traditional movie and television business, which saw declines in advertising, and rising costs cut into its profits.
Paolo Pescatore, an analyst at PP Foresight, said it was a “disappointing quarter” that “underlines the challenges a media giant faces in pivoting towards a streaming future”.
“Quest for subscribers comes at a cost and success is not guaranteed,” he said.