The Walt Disney Company (NYSE: DIS) CEO Bob Iger announced on Wednesday that Hulu content would soon be incorporated into Disney+ as part of the company’s “one-app experience” offering that would be available by the end of the year.
“While we will continue to offer Disney+, Hulu, and ESPN+ as standalone options, this is a logical progression of our DTC [direct-to-consumer] offerings that will provide greater opportunities for advertisers 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,” Iger said at the company’s Q2 earnings call.
The announcement suggests that Disney plans to retain ownership of Hulu, which is also partly owned by Comcast with a 33% stake. A contractual agreement would enable Comcast to “put their share of Hulu back” to Disney by 2024.
The CEO made it clear that combining Hulu content with Disney+ is “a very strong combination” from all sides — from the subscriber perspective to subscriber acquisition and retention, as well as for advertisers.
“How that ultimately unfolds is, to some extent, in the hands of Comcast and in the hands of a — basically, a conversation or a negotiation that we have with them. I don’t want to be in any way predictive in terms of when or how that ends up,” Iger said.
“I can’t tell you and I can’t really say where they end up, only to say that there seems to be real value in having general entertainment combined with Disney+. And if, ultimately, Hulu is that solution, that’s we’re — we’re bullish about that,” he added.
Iger also touted the streaming service’s price elasticity and announced a price increase down the line. The new increase will follow what he described as a relatively small loss after a substantial increase in pricing for the non-ad-supported Disney+
The hike is intended to “widen the delta” between the ad-free and the ad-supported tiers. The ad-free tier is currently $10.99/month on a standalone basis, while the ad-supported plan is $7.99/month.
In related news, Warner Bros Discovery Inc (Nasdaq: WBD) announced less than a month ago that its new super streaming service, Max, will launch on May 23. The service brings together prestige programming from HBO Max and reality TV from Discovery+.
Information for this story was found via Disney, Motley Fool, Variety, and the sources and companies mentioned. The author has no securities or affiliations related to the organizations discussed. Not a recommendation to buy or sell. Always do additional research and consult a professional before purchasing a security. The author holds no licenses.