Recently 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.
“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.
So why merge the apps this year but not the services? Will Hulu and Disney+ merge ever into a single service? Here is why Disney is making the changes the way they are.
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So why not merge Hulu and Disney+ this year?
The main reason Disney won’t merge Hulu and Disney+ right now is that Comcast still owns part of Hulu. That means Comcast is entitled to part of the revenue Hulu makes every year. If Disney would merge Hulu with Disney+ this year that would mean Comcast could make claims to any revenue Disney+ makes. By keeping the two services separate it allows Disney to easily keep the money that is possibly owed to Comcast separate from what they make with Disney+.
This lines up very well with what Disney’s CEO said when they announced that the Disney+ and Hulu apps would merge.
“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.
This raises the question of what a merger of Hulu and Disney+ would look like. Would it keep Hulu with live TV as its own service, or would that also be added to Disney+? For now, that is unknown, but it is increasingly looking like Hulu and Disney+ someday will become a single service but just not until after Disney buys out Comcast next year.