Disney Plus Announces Streaming App Merger With Hulu

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.

Streaming Wars

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.

Single Payer

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.

Let's Just Call It Cable

However, another poster is one step ahead. Maybe this has already been tried?

More Confusion To Enjoy

This contributor is not excited. Breaking Peter Pan, anyone?

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.

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.

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!

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!

This article was produced and syndicated by Wealth of Geeks