In a significant move made by Disney, the company announced Wednesday that U.S. customers are getting a new app that combines Disney+ and Hulu content. During Disney’s quarterly results, CEO Bob Iger revealed that the new streaming option will launch later this year.
However, the company also plans to keep Disney+, Hulu and ESPN+ as standalone platforms.
“This is a logical progression of our [direct-to-consumer] offerings that will provide greater opportunities for advertisers while giving subscribers access to more robust and streamlined content, resulting in greater audience engagement and ultimately leading to a more unified streaming experience,” Iger stated during the earnings call.
Many of us saw this announcement coming since former Disney CEO Chapek hinted at the plans in September 2022.
“Right now, if you want to go from Hulu to ESPN+ to Disney+, you have to go out of one app to another app. In the future, we may have less friction,” Chapek told Variety last year.
This also appears to support the reports that Disney will likely buy Comcast’s stake in Hulu. Disney is reportedly expected to buy Comcast’s stake in Hulu by either 2023 or 2024. Currently, Comcast owns 33% and Disney owns 66%.
The integration follows other movies made by competitors, such as Paramount combined with Showtime as well as Warner Bros. Discovery and its new streaming service, Max, which merges HBO Max and Discovery+ into one platform.
The news comes after Disney+ lost four million subscribers in the second quarter of 2023. Hulu gained 200,000 subs.