This week, Disney CEO Bob Iger announced that TV streaming platforms Disney Plus and Hulu would be rolled out as part of the same app. This news follows Disney's 2019 acquisition of a 66% stake in Hulu, indicating a new direction in Disney's appraisal of Hulu's service.
The new app will be available by the year's end, though only to existing customers.
“More Robust Streamlined Content”
In a recent interview, Iger says it will “provide greater opportunities for advertisers while giving bundle subscribers access to more robust and streamlined content,” hoping to give audiences a more unified streaming service.
Iger sees that Hulu's “general entertainment content” may combine well with Disney Plus' specialized viewing experience. From a paid advertising angle, the CEO also sees a strong potential in the “subscriber acquisition-subscriber retention” relationship.
Who Will Blink First?
Comcast holds the cards on this new venture, owning one-third of Hulu to Disney's two-thirds. Disney's majority shareholder status means both companies could reach a legal impasse in January 2024. It depends on whether Comcast demands Disney buy their stake or Disney uses its ‘buy option' to force Comcast into selling its own.
Until recently, it appeared Disney would buy Comcast's stake, though this ended when Comcast CEO Brian Roberts showed Comcast's interest in doing the same. Some experts feel this is merely a tactic to drive their stake's valuation pending a likely sell-off.
As it stands, Hulu's Subscription Video on Demand (SVOD) and its SVOD/TV package services are eclipsing any of Disney's per-user revenues. However, Disney plans an ad-free subscription tier to boost revenues further.
Recently, Disney Plus and Hulu's overall paid subscriber bases have been flat, with Hulu slightly up from 48 million to 48.2 million members. However, Disney's numbers are down from last year and are 46.3 million subscribers.
It remains to be seen what will happen in January, though an online discussion shows how some people are reacting to this news.
Hulu-Disney or Disney-Hulu?
Our first responder wants a job in Disney's marketing department. “Hu Dis,” he suggests as the app's new name. I can't think of a better name, in all fairness.
It's called HuDis?— Attack Of The Zack (@Zack747) May 10, 2023
One would think a single subscription charge is on the horizon, though the question is: “At what price?” Well, it should be. This gentleman offers a pertinent take.
Smart, combine both and charge one subscription— Gino (@ginostrengthfit) May 10, 2023
Let's Just Call It Cable
However, another poster is one step ahead. Maybe this has already been tried?
Combine them all then call it cable pic.twitter.com/c46Pf9Ux9e— GATOATTACK (@GATOATTACK) May 10, 2023
More Confusion To Enjoy
This contributor is not excited. Breaking Peter Pan, anyone?
Great, so excited for the most confusing user experience of all time. Can’t wait to bounce from Peter Pan to Breaking Bad with one misclick.— Kendall (@herleorr) May 10, 2023
Get It Done
Then again, if Disney does go ahead and consume Hulu, some of us will be happy. I am not so sure about this myself.
Hulu better just become part of Disney Plus.— Nico Winther 🇳🇴 (@Winthertainment) May 10, 2023
A Weird Combination
Others agree that Disney Plus streaming regular TV content would just look weird. In any case, several media packages offer this bundle, claims one subscriber.
I don’t see the point in that, I know it’s all owned by Disney but it’d be weird to see many of the things Hulu offers on the same app as what Disney+ offers. As for paying one price, there’s already a plan that lets you get Disney, Hulu, and espn+— Sam (@ChuMaiWhong) May 11, 2023
Add It to The Pile
Thankfully, we have cynics among us who will always raise their eyebrows. Just what the world needs — another overpriced subscription platform!
Shame, we need more subscription services we can't afford. pic.twitter.com/Jlc96WtapQ— Boba Phil (@BobaPhil) May 10, 2023
Are You Seeing This, HBO Max?
Finally, this response is not about Disney or Hulu, but a fellow U.K. countryman is asking HBO Max about their own shortcomings. I am down with this idea and don't know why we still don't have it in Britain. Do better, HBO!
Would make my day when HBO max finally comes to the UK— Anthony Day (@AnthonyDaytv) May 10, 2023
This article was produced and syndicated by Wealth of Geeks.