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 in May. Hulu—which Disney acquired in the Fox deal—will find its content combining with Disney+. A beta test of a combined Disney and Hulu app is here and, according to Deadline, a full rollout is coming in March 2024.
As far as costs, subscriptions to for the Hulu and Disney+ duo start at $10 a month, $2 more than the basic tier of Disney+. Subscribers will see a “Hulu” button alongside those for Marvel, Pixar, Disney, Star Wars, and National Geographic. The apps will still offer standalone services, though.
Disney CEO Bob Iger shared the following on a recent earnings call:
“We are basically putting it in beta so that we can prepare parents, largely, to basically implement parental controls, because you’ll be able to access Hulu programming on the same app… We found that where we bundle, we lower churn.”
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.
Originally published on May 10, 2023.