Disney is set to combine its popular streaming services, Disney+ and Hulu, into a “one-app experience” by the end of 2023. While each service will still be available separately, the combination is expected to create a more robust and streamlined content offering for viewers, leading to greater audience engagement and ultimately, a more unified streaming experience.
CEO Bob Iger announced the decision during a recent earnings call, stating that the move is a “logical progression” for Disney’s direct-to-consumer offerings and will provide greater opportunities for advertisers.
Disney CEO Bob Iger announced that Disney+ and Hulu will be combined in a unified streaming app by the end of 2023, while still being available as standalone options.
The new app will be launched in the U.S., and the company will provide more details at a later date. This latest development is part of Disney’s ongoing efforts to bolster its streaming service and fend off competition from rivals such as Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and HBO Max.
In addition to the new app, Iger also revealed that Disney will be hiking the price of its ad-free subscription plan, which currently costs $10.99 per month. The company’s bundle plan, which includes Disney+, Hulu, and ESPN+, will remain available at its current price point of $13.99 per month.
This move by Disney mirrors a similar strategy by HBO Max, which will soon rebrand as Max and combine content from HBO Max and Discovery+. The decision to combine Hulu and Disney follows Disney’s acquisition of the streaming service in 2019 for a $5.8 billion deal. The acquisition will also allow Disney to buy NBCUniversal’s remaining 33% share in 2024.
The announcement comes in the wake of Disney+’s first quarterly subscriber loss, which it reported in February. While the streaming service has been a major success for the company, with over 100 million subscribers worldwide, competition in the streaming market has been intensifying, and the combined offering is expected to give Disney an edge over its rivals.
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Overall, the move is expected to be a significant development for the streaming market and could shake up the industry in the coming years. As streaming continues to grow in popularity and become the primary way people consume media, Disney’s decision to combine its services is a smart move that could pay off in the long run.