Disney+ to Add Hulu Content in One-App Experience Later in 2023
Disney is pulling Hulu tighter into the Mouse House.
On Disney’s earnings call Wednesday, CEO Bob Iger said the company will soon launch a “one-app experience” in the U.S. that incorporates Hulu content into Disney+. The new combined offering will launch by the end of 2023, he said.
“While we will continue to offer Disney+, Hulu and ESPN+ as standalone options, this is a logical progression of our [direct-to-consumer] 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.
Iger also said that Disney intends to raise the price of the regular ad-free Disney+ tier (currently $10.99/month on a standalone basis) and moderately increase the price of the ad-supported plan. ($7.99/month).
The company’s announcement to more tightly weave Hulu into Disney+ is a sign that Disney intends to retain its ownership of Hulu.
Starting in January 2024, Disney can require Comcast to sell its 33% stake in Hulu (and Comcast can force the sale). Iger has said Disney is evaluating all options. The streaming landscape “is very, very tricky right now and before we make any big decisions about our level of investment, our commitment to that business, we want to understand where it could go,” Iger said at an investor conference in March.
Disney already offers a price-discounted bundle of Disney+ and Hulu with ads for $9.99 per month, but customers must use separate apps to stream each one. In addition, the company offers Disney+, Hulu and ESPN+ bundles for $12.99/month (with ads) and $19.99/month (no ads on Disney+ or Hulu).
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