Media giant The Walt Disney Company DIS has put a large emphasis on its streaming ambitions since launching the Disney+ streaming platform in November 2019.
Here’s a look at how Disney+ has grown its subscribers and how the stock has performed since the launch.
What Happened: Disney+ was launched Nov. 12, 2019, two years after being announced. The streaming ambitions of Disney date back to the acquisition of a one-third stake in BAM Tech in 2016 for $1 billion. BAM Tech was a media platform built by Major League Baseball.
Disney increased its ownership stake in BAM Tech in 2017 and years later launched Disney+ using the original platform and infrastructure from the company.
Disney+ launched with over 500 films and 7,500 episodes on its platform, which included an “extensive collection of beloved library titles, as well as a robust slate of Disney+ originals.”
“The Mandalorian,” a Star Wars series premiered on Disney+ at launch along with a live-action adaptation of the Disney classic “Lady and the Tramp.”
“The launch of Disney+ is a historic moment for our company that marks a new era of innovation and creativity,” former Disney CEO Bob Iger said at the time. “Disney+ provides an exceptional entertainment experience, showcasing our library of beloved movies, TV series and exclusive original content from Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars and National Geographic.”
Disney+ premiered with a price point of $6.99 per month or $69.99 annually. Disney offered bundle options of Disney+, Hulu, and ESPN+ for $12.99 per month at launch. The platform has a monthly price of $7.99 in many territories now with prices set to increase later this year.
Disney+ launched in the United States, Canada and the Netherlands initially with expansion then hitting Australia, New Zealand and Puerto Rico. In 2020, the streaming platform was added to additional territories.
Disney ended the most recent quarter with 152.1 million Disney+ subscribers.
Investing $1,000 In Disney: Shares of Disney opened for trading at $138.03 on Nov. 12, 2019 and traded between $136.74 and $139.34 on the day of the Disney+ launch.
A $1,000 investment in Disney stock at the opening price could have purchased 7.24 shares of DIS. The $1,000 would be worth $880.17 today based on a price of $121.57 for Disney stock.
The investment would be down 12% since the launch of Disney+.
Disney shares have traded between $90.23 and $187.58 over the last 52-weeks. The COVID-19 pandemic helped the company’s streaming platform gain additional subscribers, but put a damper on other parts of the company’s business like theme parks and theatrical movie blockbusters.
Disney+ remains a key focus for Disney going forward and could also be a key investment reason for investors with an ad-supported plan coming and Disney announcing recently it was raising prices of the streaming platform.
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