Disney CEO Bob Iger announces that Disney+ and Hulu content will be combined to one app by the end of the year.
Disney CEO Bob Iger announced today that they will be combining Disney+ and Hulu content into one app. The change will begin to roll out by the end of the year.
“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,” Bob Iger explained during Disney’s quarterly earnings call, “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. The advertising potential of this combined platform is incredibly exciting.“
While Disney owns the majority stake in Hulu, Comcast still owns a third of the streaming company. In January 2024, Comcast will be able to use its put option to require Disney to buy the remaining third, or Disney will be able to use its buy option to force Comcast to sell. Disney would need to come up with at least $9 billion to buy Comcast’s one-third stake
Bob Iger said that Disney still hasn’t decided whether to purchase Comcast’s stake in Hulu, but for the moment, he sees the benefit of joining forces. “I mentioned that the first earnings call that I did after I came back that everything was on the table. And in fact, everything was on the table,” Iger said. “But I’ve now had another three months to really study this carefully and figure out what is the best path for us to grow this business and it’s clear 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.“Iger added that he’s had some”cordial” conversations with Comcast.
However, CFO Christine McCarthy added that Disney is in the process of reviewing the content on its services and “will be removing certain content from streaming platforms” in the future. It remains to be seen which movies and TV shows are on the chopping block. Disney+ subscribers may see another price increase as Bob Iger said that its ad-free tier would go up but added that they would keep the price of the ad-supported tier “modest.“