Disney+ will add Hulu content in “One-App Experience” later in 2023

Disney+ will add Hulu content in “One-App Experience” later in 2023

Disney is bringing Hulu closer to the Mouse House.

During Disney’s earnings call on Wednesday, CEO Bob Iger said the company will soon launch a “one-app experience” in the United States that integrates Hulu content into Disney+. The new combined offering will launch by the end of 2023, he said.

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“While we continue to offer Disney+, Hulu and ESPN+ as standalone options, this is a logical progression from our [direct-to-consumer] offerings that will provide greater opportunities for advertisers while giving bundle subscribers access to more robust and streamlined content, driving greater audience engagement and ultimately leading to a more unified streaming experience,” said Iger.

Iger also said that Disney intends to increase the price of the ad-free Disney+ regular 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 weave Hulu more tightly into Disney+ is a sign that Disney intends to retain its ownership of Hulu.

Iger, on the earnings call, said “what will happen with Hulu hasn’t really been fully determined,” but he said it was clear that content on Disney+ combined with “entertainment content General” was a very solid proposition. “So we’re heading towards an experiment, with general entertainment content on Disney+,” he said, declining to say how negotiations for Hulu will go.

Starting in January 2024, Disney can demand that Comcast sell its 33% stake in Hulu (and Comcast can force the sale). Iger 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 this business, we want to understand where it might go,” Iger told a conference. investors in March.

Under the terms of the Disney-Comcast deal for Hulu, Hulu’s “guaranteed floor value” is $27.5 billion, meaning Comcast’s stake is worth at least about $9.2 billion.

Disney already offers a discounted bundle of Disney+ and Hulu with ads for $9.99 per month, but customers must use separate apps to stream each. Additionally, the company offers Disney+, Hulu, and ESPN+ bundles for $12.99/month (with ads) and $19.99/month (no ads on Disney+ or Hulu).

Also on the earnings call, Chief Financial Officer Christine McCarthy said Disney intended to produce lower volumes for streaming content — and would remove some content from its streaming services in order to to improve its profitability. Disney expects to take a writedown of $1.5 billion to $1.8 billion in its fiscal third quarter by removing content. said McCarthy.

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