The Walt Disney Company raked in more than $600 million in Australia last financial year, following the launch of its long awaited streaming service and the release of two blockbuster movies, Frozen II and the latest intallment in the Star Wars franchise.
Financial accounts lodged with the corporate regulator this month show the US entertainment giant generated more than $541 million in revenue for the year to September 2020, up from $477 million in 2019. Once other income – such as government grants for feature film and program production – is taken into account, Disney generated over $600 million in Australia during the period.
It booked a $34.2 million profit compared to $23.4 million in the preceding year. Disney paid $4.8 million in tax on that profit, plus $11 million in deferred tax payments. In the preceding year it recieved a tax benefit of $1.2 million.
Disney’s $5 million tax bill compares to the $500,000 paid in 2019 by Netflix, which is widely considered the market leader in streaming in Australia
Research firm Telsyte estimated in August that Disney+ has about 1.1 million subscribers in Australia. For comparison, Netflix has an estimated 5.4 million subscribers in Australia according to Telsyte, while Stan reported it had more than 2.2 million subscribers at the end of last year.
Stan is owned by Nine Entertainment Co, which is also the owner of this masthead. In late 2018, Stan signed a deal for Disney’s content which elapsed after Disney+ launched. News Corp had previously forked out large sums to air Disney content on its pay TV platform Foxtel.
A monthly subscription to Disney+ costs $8.99 in Australia, but there is also an option to pay $89.99 for the year. The accounts show that Disney’s licence fee revenue declined, while revenue from film production increased.
The drop in licence fee revenue – which takes into account subscriptions – is likely due to the fact it was not receiving large amounts of money from players such as Stan and Foxtel when it brought its content in-house. Stan and Foxtel previously forked out large sums to broadcast Disney content.
Disney declined to comment on its results, which come amid a push by the federal government to make global streaming players meet obligations to make local content.
Industry sources have previously told The Sydney Morning Herald and Age that US entertainment giant Disney has no plans to commission local programs or films despite recent plans to launch more products. Disney announced at the end of last year it would add Star to its service from February. The new brand which will sit on the Disney+ app and will include shows from 21st Century Fox and FX Studios.
Source: Thanks smh.com