Disney (NYSE: DIS) reported its fiscal first-quarter earnings after the market close Thursday and removed any doubt about the importance of its streaming ambitions. The company’s direct-to-consumer (DTC) services reached more than 146 million paid subscribers. Disney said memberships for its flagship service Disney+ surged to 94.9 million, adding more than 21 million in the first quarter alone. New members were attracted by hits like The Mandalorian and WandaVision.
Even more startling, Disney reported a surprise profit of $17 million, or earnings per share of $0.02, though it marked a 98% decline from the prior-year quarter. Revenue of $16.2 billion was down 22% year over year, but up sequentially from $14.7 billion in Q3. The company also burned $685 million in cash during the quarter.