Back in May, Bob Iger the CEO of Disney, announced plans to merge the Hulu and Disney+ apps into a single app. Each platform will remain its own service but will be combined into a single app.
“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,” CEO Bob Iger said on the earnings call.
Now the Wall Street Journal is reporting that not only will this merger happen later this year, but in March of 2024 a new bundle deal of Hulu and Disney+ content will launch. The deal was originally meant to launch when the apps merged, but because of delays, Disney won’t launch it until March 2024. Disney is hoping that this new bundle will help drive as many as 150,000 new subscribers and generate millions in revenue.
Exactly how this will be different from the current bundles is unknown. Though Disney has a lot of options from a bundle deal with live channels from Hulu + Live TV that won’t include ESPN+ could be one option some have speculated.
ESPN+ has long been included in Hulu bundles, with all three options included in one of Hulu’s bundles since 2020. Iger is striving to increase revenue by seizing a unique advertising opportunity through the development of a single app hosting all three services. How exactly that will work with a new bundle of Hulu and Disney+ is unknown.
Disney has approximately 5,000 advertisers, and this app could help aim their ads to land on the right audience’s ears. Advertisements will be more personalized to targeted audiences rather than traditional advertising tactics.
“What we’re doing right now — because we own two-thirds of Hulu, and we have an agreement with Comcast that may result in us owning 100 percent — is we’re really studying the business very, very carefully, all those competitive dynamics with an understanding that we have a good platform in Hulu,” Iger said at the investors’ conference.
To help complete this Disney is currently in talks with Comcast to complete the sale of Hulu to Disney. Disney is already the majority owner of Hulu but once the Comcast deal is done they will be the only company owning Hulu.
The apps will be merged into one by the end of 2023.