Disney Plans 7,000 Job Cuts Amid 2.4 Million Subscriber Loss at Disney+

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Not everything is peachy at the House of Mouse. As part of a multibillion-dollar cost-cutting effort that is targeting $5.5 billion of cost savings across his company, Disney CEO Bob Iger mentioned during an earnings call yesterday that approximately 7,000 workers would be getting laid off, a number that would equate to around 3% of Disney’s global workforce. Disney Plus also appears to be stumbling somewhat, having lost 2.4 million subscribers between October and December 2022, according to figures found in Disney’s Q1 2023 earnings report. Iger returned to lead Disney as its CEO last year after the board dismissed Bob Chapek on November 20.

From a Walt Disney Q1 2023 earnings call transcript:

[…] we are targeting $5.5 billion of cost savings across the company. First, reductions to our noncontent costs will total roughly $2.5 billion, not adjusted for inflation. $1 billion in savings is already underway, and Christine will provide more details. But in general, the savings will come from reductions in SG&A and other operating costs across the company.

To help achieve this, we will be reducing our workforce by approximately 7,000 jobs. While this is necessary to address the challenges we’re facing today, I do not make this decision lightly. I have enormous respect and appreciation for the talent and dedication of our employees worldwide, and I’m mindful of the personal impact of these changes. On the content side, we expect to deliver approximately $3 billion in savings over the next few years, excluding sports.

From a Variety report:

The drop in Disney+ subscribers — which was bigger than analysts expected — was entirely driven by a 3.8 million sequential decline Disney+ Hotstar, the version of the service offered in India and parts of Southeast Asia, to stand at 161.8 million at the end of 2022. Last year, Disney lost streaming rights to Indian Premier League (IPL) cricket matches, which prompted it to lower growth targets for Disney+ Hotstar in India.

In the U.S./Canada, Disney+ gained about 200,000 subs (to reach 46.6 million). Hulu gained 800,000 in the quarter to stand at 48.0 million, and ESPN+ increased by 600,000 to 24.9 million.

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Tsing Mui
News poster at The FPS Review.

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