Disney to Reveal Streaming Future

Disney (NYSE:DIS) will put a stamp on how the media industry views streaming’s growth potential — at least for the time being — when it announces its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday.

Wall Street analysts on average expect that Disney added about 10 million Disney+ subscribers during the period, pushing its total global customers for the service to about 147 million.

If Disney hits or exceeds that forecast, investors and media executives can file the quarter away as one that showed mixed trends for the industry. It will suggest the global streaming market isn’t nearing saturation.

With the right product, in certain regions of the world, Disney can show entertainment companies are still capable of adding many millions of subscribers in a quarter.

That’s particularly important for Disney Chief Executive Officer Bob Chapek, who in February stood by his forecast that Disney+ will have between 230 million to 260 million subscribers by the end of 2024.

That gives the company 11 more quarters, including the one reported Wednesday, to reach its goal. Disney will need to add an average of about 8.5 million subscribers a quarter to reach the low end of the range.

If Disney+’s net additions are well below 10 million or — even worse — below 8.5 million, the last quarter will go down as disastrous for media and entertainment companies racing to build their streaming businesses.

DIS shares $2.35, or 2.2%, to $110.48.