Disney+’s Brutal Declines Casts Doubt On Future Of Streaming Wars

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The Streaming Wars were once considered an arms race for the future of media. Disney, Paramount, HBO, Amazon, and Apple staked their futures to a quest to overtake Netflix for streaming supremacy.

They miscalculated. All of them.

Today, there’s hardly existing evidence that streaming is a sufficient business strategy. Particularly when you factor in conglomerates pivoted to streaming away from cable and satellite, businesses that were once of great profit.

The latest example comes by virtue of Disney. The company’s flagship Disney+ shed another 4 million subscribers during the first three months of 2023, Variety reported Wednesday.

Disney+ ended the quarter with 157.8 million subscribers, missing Wall Street’s estimate of 163.17 million.

The drop marked Disney’s first-second consecutive quarterly drop after closing 2022 with its first-ever decline.

In addition, Disney’s Hulu and ESPN+ services barely grew.

The challenging start to 2023 comes at a time when Disney is in the midst of mass layoffs. The company plans to shed a total of 7,000 jobs over the course of three layoff periods this year.

Ultimately, Disney overestimated the number of users willing to add more subscription services to the monthly budget.


Netflix gained prominence as a cheaper, more convenient alternative to cable. Yet streaming is no longer cheaper or more convenient.

Shows, sports, films, and chick flicks are now spread out across a comically-long list of streamers, most of which cost around $10 a month.

And when we say comically long, we mean it.

Off the top of our head we go:

— Netflix

— Hulu

— Amazon Prime Video

— Disney+


— HBO Max,

— Max

— Discovery +

— Paramount+,

— Showtime

— AppleTV+

— Peacock


— NFL+

— Tubi

— Crackle

Did we miss any? Of course, we did.

It’s exhausting just naming them. Imagine paying for them. Or trying to figure out which program is on which.

The Streaming Wars are still contentious. But more in the way of survival than supremacy.

Written by Bobby Burack

Bobby Burack is a writer for OutKick where he reports and analyzes the latest topics in media, culture, sports, and politics..

Burack has become a prominent voice in media and has been featured on several shows across OutKick and industry related podcasts and radio stations.


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  1. I wonder how the numbers are for streaming services like Crackle, Pluto, Tubi, and other commercial-driven free services. They show a lot of classic shows and movies (low on the woke scale), and they are like a huge menu of “free TV” from the days before cable. Given the state of the economy (good point superdave), those types of streaming services could see a huge uptick in viewers. I hope they do.

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