Disney is to launch a combined Disney+ and Hulu app by the end of the year.
Disney CEO Bob Iger announced the launch during entertainment giant’s second quarter financial earnings call.
Disney+ and Hulu, as well as Disney-owned ESPN+, will continue to be available as stand-alone services, he noted.
The three platforms have been offered as a discount-priced bundle since 2020, helping Disney to drive subscriber acquisition across all of the services.
Iger described the move “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.”
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The announcement comes after months of speculation over the future of Hulu. Disney has a roughly 67% stake in Hulu. The remaining 33% is controlled by NBC Universal parent company Comcast.
The two corporations have an agreement under which, starting in January, Comcast can require Disney to buy its stake or Disney can force Comcast to sell its stake.
Hulu has 48 million subscribers in North America, but very little international presence.
Disney+ has 157.8 million global subscribers, the company announced on the earnings call — down by 4 million from 161.8 million in Q1.
Iger also said that Disney will be “rationalising” the quantity and investment of its streaming content, although he did not offer any specific details.
CFO Christine McCarthy said the company would take a $1.5 billion to $1.8 billion impairment charge related to content cuts and other streamlining in the company’s streaming operation.
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