The financial outlook is bleak for Disney when it comes to streaming video. The company lost money last year on products like ESPN+, and it appears as though the news won’t get much better in 2019.
According to Bloomberg’s Gerry Smith, the company lost $100 million on online video projects in the first quarter of 2019 and is set to lose about $200 million more this quarter.
ESPN+ boasts 2 million registered users according to the company’s own numbers. This is a testament to just how serious of an investment is needed to be successful in streaming video, both from a time and money perspective if the service isn’t profitable with that kind of base.
Disney has also been investing in another digital product that is yet to launch. Disney+, the company’s answer to Netflix, will launch in late 2019. It is currently requiring investment without generating revenue, and is expected to be more popular than ESPN+.