Disney+ was launched as maybe the most family-friendly streaming service, with the sister app, Hulu, reserved for more adult fare. And while it still caters to Disney’s core family audience, Disney+ has gradually broadened what it offers to include some more adult content, including R-rated X-Men movies like Deadpool and Logan. The company also recently announced the first movie, Flamin’ Hot, that would premiere simultaneously on Disney+ and Hulu.
In other words, the once separate sites appear to be getting closer and closer. During a Disney quarterly earnings call today, CEO Bob Iger announced that the company was planning to combine both Disney+ and Hulu content into a single streaming app in the months ahead.
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As Iger put it on the call:
While we continue to offer Disney+, Hulu and ESPN+ as standalone options, this is a logical progression of our DTC offerings that will provide greater opportunities for advertisers, while giving bundle subscribers access to more robust and streamlined content, resulting in greater audience engagement and ultimately leading to a more unified streaming experience,” Iger said on the earnings call.
Iger added that after returning as CEO last year, and studying the state of the company’s business, he believed that “a combination of the content that is on Disney+ with general entertainment is a very strong combination from a subscriber perspective, from a subscriber acquisition-subscriber retention perspective and also from an advertiser perspective.”
Disney owns the majority stake in Hulu, but Comcast still owns a third of the streaming service. Beginning early in 2024, Comcast can require Disney to buy its stake, or Disney can force Comcast to sell its stake. Iger said that Disney and Comcast had yet to determine what exactly will happen at that point, although they have had some discussions on the subject.
The new combined Disney+ and Hulu app is expected to be available by the end of 2023.
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