In a significant move, Disney has seamlessly merged Hulu into its Disney+ app, bringing both streaming services under one roof.
As part of the Hulu beta launch within Disney+, users can now access a dedicated Hulu section alongside existing sections for National Geographic and Star Wars.
The integration is a work in progress, currently marked as a beta version.
However, Disney aims to drop the beta tag in March 2024, unveiling a new Disney+ and Hulu bundle.
To access Hulu content within the Disney+ app, subscribers will need an additional Hulu subscription.
The collaboration will see on-demand content from Hulu incorporated into the Disney+ app, while Hulu + Live TV content remains exclusive to the standalone Hulu app.
The strategic move is designed to offer a more unified streaming experience.
Earlier in November, The Walt Disney Company confirmed its acquisition of Comcast’s 33% stake in Hulu, gaining complete control of the streaming service.
This acquisition allows Disney to enhance integration with other services like Disney+ and ESPN+.
Hulu is already part of various bundles, and Disney is exploring the potential of combining these services into a single app.
The deal involved Disney paying Comcast’s NBC Universal $8.61 billion by December 1, valuing the Hulu stake at $27.5 billion.
The merger aligns with Disney CEO Bob Iger’s vision, announced in May, to merge Hulu and Disney+ apps into a single, user-friendly app.
Each platform within this app will function as its own service, offering a unique advertising opportunity to increase revenue.
The anticipated app, slated for full release in March 2024, will commence as a beta version.
It will encompass Disney+, Hulu, and ESPN+, allowing users to conveniently access their preferred content through a unified platform.
The objective is to streamline content delivery, enhance audience engagement, and create a more cohesive streaming experience.
Despite the integration, Disney affirms that Hulu, Disney+, and ESPN+ will continue to be available as standalone subscriptions.
Disney CEO Bob Iger emphasized the strategic progression of Direct-to-Consumer (DTC) offerings, aiming to provide greater opportunities for advertisers while offering a more streamlined content experience for bundle subscribers.
Looking ahead, a Wall Street Journal report suggests a new bundle deal of Hulu and Disney+ content is set to launch in March 2024.
Although specific details about the bundle remain unknown, Disney anticipates attracting 150,000 new subscribers and generating substantial revenue through this offering.
As Disney acquires full ownership of Hulu, the current information indicates that Hulu and Disney+ will maintain their status as independent services.
However, the dynamic streaming landscape is subject to change, and Disney continues to adapt its offerings to meet evolving consumer preferences.