As consumers continue to cut cable, subscribers to streaming services continue to rise. And new numbers from ESPN seem to confirm that trend. During their first quarter 2020 earnings call this week, Disney announced that their sports-centric streaming service now stood at 6.6 million subscribers – up over 5 million from and nearly double from the 3.5 million they had just 3 months ago.
Of course, it’s worth noting that a large part of the growth of ESPN+ can likely be attributed to a bundle package which also includes Disney+ and Hulu for a discounted price that debuted 3 months ago. But as the service continues to add more live sports (they recently landed exclusive streaming rights for the PGA), you can expect more people to sign up for ESPN+ as a standalone service.
Disney said that each subscription nets them $4.44 a month, which works out to almost $30 million in revenue a month, but that’s still not enough to make the service profitable yet. It’s estimated that the service will finally be profitable by 2023, and have 8 to 12 million subscriptions by the end of 2024.
Robert A. Iger, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, The Walt Disney Company, noted during the call that “Thanks to our incredible collection of brands, outstanding content from our creative engines and state-of-the-art technology, we believe our direct-to-consumer services, including Disney+, ESPN+ and Hulu, position us well for continued growth in today’s dynamic media environment.”