Investor insight #7: Disney. This is the way

Monday 15 February 2021

Portfolio insights, Investor insights, Industry insights

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Disney’s subscriber growth continues to significantly exceed management expectations, expectations that were only recently upgraded at the December 2020 Investor day. The growth in Disney’s subscribers is a testament to the quality of their content and the strength of the Disney franchise. The streaming opportunity is significant, and management expect reaching 300 to 350 million subscribers globally by 2024 across their brands of Disney+, hulu, ESPN+.


“Disney plus has exceeded even our highest expectations in just over a year since its launch with 94.9 million subscribers as of the end of the first fiscal quarter. ESPN Plus and Hulu who have also performed well with 12.1 million and 39.4 million subscriptions respectively.”

Robert Chapek Q1 2021 12 February 2021


Between the 2019 and 2020 Investor day, management increased their FY2024 assessment of subscribers by 188 million primarily due to the explosive growth of Disney+.

Disney boasts a significant pipeline of original content in development and production. This content launches a new era of direct-to-consumer streaming delivering truly exceptional entertainment built around world renowned brands and franchises offering incredible breadth of story lines and characters to interconnect story lines maximising the return on each brand.


“We have the ability to interconnect the story lines and characters in unprecedented ways as we saw with the Mandalorian and WandaVision into the broader Star Wars and Marvel franchises.”

Robert Chapek Q1 2021 12 February 2021


We look forward to providing further updates on Disney as they execute on their vision of bringing high quality content to an engaged and growing global customer base.

About the Author
Lachlan Hughes, CFA

Lachlan Hughes, CFA

CEO and CIO

Lachlan is the CEO and CIO, with responsibility for all investment decisions of the Swell Global Portfolio. Previously Lachlan was a Senior Analyst with NovaPort Capital. During his tenure, the team achieved an annual return of 23.56% over the period from 2009 to 2013, outperforming the S&P/ASX Small Ordinaries Accumulation Index by 15.42% and earning the Lonsec Fund Manager of the Year (Rising Star) award in 2012. Prior to that, Lachlan was a corporate lawyer working with King & Wood Mallesons (Sydney), The Bank of New York (London) and Allco Finance Group.

Lachlan earned the right to use the CFA designation granted by the CFA Institute in 2010. His professional qualifications include a Bachelor of Commerce (Finance) and a Bachelor of Laws.