Disney lost more than a billion dollars last year, in a bid to capture the elusive streaming horizon. The company’s Hulu stake cost 580 million dollars to the company in equity investments. Similarly, its BAMtech investment in a streaming technology cost the company more than $469 million dollars.
BAMtech helps Disney power ESPN+ and other over the top services. Disney’s own streaming service, Disney+ is likely to be launched in 2019. The streaming service would likely cost billions more in the near future.
Disney is also yet to acquire a 30 percent more stake in Hulu, in line with its earlier deal. Its earlier agreement with 21st Century Fox makes the total deal worth $71.3 billion dollars. The remaining 30 percent stake is likely to incur more losses to Disney next year.
Disney Faces an uphill task in its competition with Netflix
Disney is likely stomach these losses, especially as the company is playing catch-up to its rivals. Earlier this year, Netflix raised its subscription rates by 13 to 18 percent for its 139 million paid users. Disney is hoping to emulate Netflix’s success in the coming year with quality content and a host of Disney shows. There is no word on its pricing yet from Disney.
Disney’s large array of networks posted $7.3 billion dollar profits in 2018. While the company is in a better position than most media companies to play big, it faces unfamiliar waters like never before. The streaming business not only demands content that is individual user centric but it is also a lower-cost alternative.
Investors and Wall Street will be keeping a close-eye on as Disney prepares for an extremely competitive landscape. The future promises to remain a mystery for its investors.