Bob Iger, Disney’s CEO, announced the upcoming launch of a beta app in December that combines Disney+ and Hulu into a seamless experience for subscribers of both services. These plans were initially disclosed during Disney’s second-quarter earnings call in May.
Iger, speaking during the company’s earnings call for the September quarter, stated (via Variety), “We remain on track to roll out a more unified one-app experience domestically, making extensive general entertainment content available to bundle subscribers via Disney+”
The beta version of the Disney+/Hulu app, which will be called Hulu on Disney+, will reportedly provide subscribers with an early look at the integrated platform. Iger emphasized the significance of this release window, noting, “giving parents time to set up parental controls.” The official launch is anticipated in spring 2024.
Disney is currently in the process of finalizing the acquisition of NBCUniversal’s 33% stake in Hulu, a deal that involves a substantial financial commitment. According to a recent filing, Disney is set to pay at least $8.61 billion to Comcast for the Hulu stake, with the final amount contingent on an evaluation of Hulu’s market value by respective bankers.
“We expect Hulu on Disney+ will result in increased engagement, greater advertising opportunities, lower churn, and reduced customer acquisition costs, thereby increasing our overall margins,” Iger said.
This strategic move aligns with Disney’s commitment to enhancing its streaming business, which has shown positive growth. In the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2023, Disney+ reached a total of 150.2 million. Iger anticipates the streaming business to achieve profitability by the fourth quarter of fiscal 2024.
Among hundreds of other offerings, Hulu notably hosts the FX streaming library, produces originals like The Handmaid’s Tale, and recently shared the debut of the Goosebumps reboot, which also arrived on Disney+.
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