A lot is happening with Hulu right now as it will soon merge its app with Disney+ and become 100% owned by Disney. This has started many rumors about Hulu shutting down after its app merges with Disney+.
Today we are going to break down everything we know about the future of Hulu as it goes through major changes.
First, let me explain this new Ask Luke series. We often get the same questions repeated from multiple people. When we see that happen, we will post them here as part of an Ask Luke series. This gives me (Luke) and the Cord Cutters News staff an opportunity to answer common questions for everyone to see.
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First, here is everything we know about Disney buying all of Hulu:
Walt Disney on Wednesday said it would acquire Comcast’s 33% stake in Hulu, confirming that it would take full control of the streaming service.
The deal would move Hulu completely under Disney, allowing it to better integrate the service with Disney+ and ESPN+. Hulu is already part of various bundles with the services, but Disney is looking to potentially combine them into a single app. Comcast would walk away with billions of dollars and ammunition to bolster its own streaming service, Peacock.
The two companies had previously agreed to speed up the sale process, with November 1 being the deadline for both or either party to trigger a deal. Disney said that by December 1, it would pay Comcast’s NBC Universal $8.61 billion, which values the stake at $27.5 billion.
Everything we know about Hulu and Disney+ merging apps:
Back in May Bob Iger 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. 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.
This newly launched app will still reportedly launch by the end of 2023 and will allow you to watch all of your content through a single app.
It does appear though that Hulu + Live TV will remain its own independent app and only the on-demand content will merge into Disney+.
So will Hulu shut down after the merger?
For now the answer to that still seems to be no as all three services ESPN+, Hulu, and Disney+ will continue to be offered as individual subscriptions.
“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 when the merger was announced.
Also recently, the Wall Street Journal reported 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.
All things can change but to answer all the questions we are getting no it appears that Hulu and Disney+ will be their own services even after Disney buys 100% of Hulu.