Walt Disney will soon offer a taste of what an app integrating Hulu with Disney+ will look like in a beta test.
Disney CEO Bob Iger said during the company’s earnings conference call that the beta version of Hulu on Disney+ will come out in December, allowing parents to set up different profiles to account for the wider range of mature content. Iger added that the official launch of the service will take place in the spring of 2024. He later clarified that the launch would happen in March.
The company is banking that combining the two apps will make for a stronger draw. While Disney+ launched with a lot of fanfare and hit shows like The Mandalorian, enthusiasm for the service has waned with the mixed reaction to its original Marvel and Star Wars content, as well as content that tends to skew younger because of lack of R-rated content. Adding Hulu’s library, including hits shows like Only Murders in the Building, could improve its appeal to subscribers that are increasingly looking at which services to keep.
Iger said that the combination should increase audience engagement, lower subscriber cancellations, reduce the cost to acquire customers and increase overall profitability of the streaming business.
The company added nearly 7 million Disney+ subscribers in the fiscal fourth quarter, while adding only 200,000 Hulu subscribers.
Iger noted that 2 million customers chose $7.99-a-month Disney+ ad-tier, which has a total of 5.2 million customers.
Disney earlier reported its fiscal fourth-quarter results, where it said that its streaming services posted an operating loss of $420 million. Iger said he hopes to get the streaming business back to profitability by the fiscal fourth quarter of 2024.