Ad revenue decline and global subscriber numbers fall as Warner Bros Discovery’s latest figures disappoint investors.
- WBD has 95.1 million streaming customers worldwide, including Discovery+ subscribers in the UK and Ireland.
- Company could recuperate some of the losses by hiking prices.
Warner Bros Discovery (WBD) reported a net loss of $417 million during the third quarter of 2023 and saw subscriber numbers fall by 700,000 in the last quarter.
The company, which is behind streaming services Discovery+ and Max, had 95.1 million streaming customers at the end of September. That’s less than what analysts were expecting, and contrasts with Netflix and Disney+, who both reported increases in subscribers.
In a rare piece of good news, WBD did manage to score a profit in the streaming business, while other parts of the business lost money. Another boost came from the success of the Barbie movie, which became a summer blockbuster around the globe.
Linear TV channels helped to contribute to the loss, with traditional ad revenue from its Networks business declining.
WBD is planning to roll out streaming service Max globally during 2024 and 2025, by which point it’s expected to arrive in the UK and Ireland, where content currently on Sky will migrate to WBD’s own platform.
It will be hoping big events including the Paris Olympics and the arrival of TNT Sports in the UK will help boost subscriber figures locally. More exclusive content will support the case for price increases, bringing WBD in line with its rivals who have been busily announcing price hikes.
A deal with Sky means most Sky subscribers currently have access to Discovery+ at no extra cost, although this doesn’t include access to TNT Sports.