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The Wall Street Journal: Disney+ subscriber growth has slowed this quarter, CEO says

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Subscriber growth at Walt Disney Co.’s flagship streaming service has slowed in the current quarter, Chief Executive Bob Chapek said Tuesday, a development that sent company shares falling in midday trading.

Investors should expect a subscriber increase in the “low single-digit millions” for Disney+ after the service encountered headwinds, Chapek said. In its most recent quarter, Disney+ subscriber numbers beat estimates when the service added more than 12 million subscribers, reaching 116 million.

Shares in Disney
DIS,
-4.17%

fell more than 5% soon after Chapek’s comments, which were delivered at an investor conference held by Goldman Sachs Group Inc.
GS,
-0.61%
,
The stock closed down 4.2%, or $7.44, at $171.17.

Wall Street’s quick response to any bad news concerning Disney+ signals how crucial investors see the streaming service to the company’s overall future. Not even two years old, Disney+ has emerged as a bright spot—and stock-price savior—after more than a year of movie-theater and theme-park closures brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Chapek cautioned investors not to expect subscriber growth to be a steady march from quarter to quarter.

An expanded version of this report appears on WSJ.com.

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