We continue unbidden into the age of digital streaming dominance in the entertainment industry. CEOs and studio heads, therefore, feel the need to clamp down even more on their beloved bottom lines. To that end, many of the majors have focused on combining their various streaming services into one. Take WBD, for example, which recently (and without anyone else wanting it) merged their HBO Max and Discovery+ services into Max. Not to be outdone (never to be outdone), Disney CEO Bob Iger announced something new during its investors call on Wednesday. Hulu—which Disney acquired in the Fox deal—will find its content combining with Disney+.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Iger says the new app will roll out by the end of the year. He hastened to add, however, that the services will still be separate. Essentially, it seems, it’ll be like how Showtime content is now on the Paramount+ app but you still need to pay for Showtime to see it. Tiers and whatnot. Iger said on the earnings call:
While we continue to offer Disney+, Hulu and ESPN+ as standalone options, this is a logical progression of our DTC 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 later said, ““The advertising potential of this combined platform is incredibly exciting.”
We should note, in countries, such as the United Kingdom, where Hulu never existed, the content of both platforms was always on Disney+.
At a time when the future of art as entertainment, and the viability of working in the entertainment industry, remains uncertain, one of the few things we can count on is enormous companies looking to make it easier for them to make billions of dollars. Consolidating Hulu, Disney+, and ESPN+ under one app won’t change too much for you, the consumer. But potentially making everything like old terrestrial cable packages might.
Kyle Anderson is the Senior Editor for Nerdist. You can find his film and TV reviews here. Follow him on Instagram and Letterboxd.