In May, Disney CEO Bob Iger announced that Hulu content will become directly available on Disney+ in the United States, thus creating a unified, one-app experience.
However, Disney faced a significant obstacle: it didn’t fully own Hulu, as Comcast held a 33% stake in the streaming company. This changed on December 1, when Disney purchased Comcast’s remaining stake for a minimum of $8.61 billion.
Now, with full ownership, Disney has the freedom to manage Hulu as they see fit. The first step in this process is the rollout of a beta version, which began today, allowing subscribers of both services to access the majority of content on Disney+.
What Does Hulu On Disney+ Mean?
Starting today, when Bundle subscribers open their Disney+ app, they will see a Hulu tile appear alongside the Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars, and National Geographic tiles.
Clicking on the Hulu tile will take subscribers to a Hulu Hub, where they’ll be able to choose from thousands of movies and series from Hulu’s library for playback via Disney+. They will have access to extensive Hulu content, including award-winning Originals, next day TV, and a huge library, right there, inside Disney+ without the friction of navigating from one app to another.
Here’s a look at it in action:
Why is this being called the “beta” phase? When will the official launch happen?
What Bundle subscribers will see today is a limited beta version, with the official launch slated for March 2024.
The beta version is intended to help Disney better understand the consumer’s needs and wants when it comes to Hulu on Disney+ before it officially launches in the spring. It will also give parents time to set up controls that make sure everyone in their household is watching what’s appropriate for them.
Will Hulu’s series and films that are more geared toward adults conflict with the more family-friendly Disney+ brand?
No. Disney has already seen great success outside of the United States where Disney’s classic and general entertainment titles exist in one app.
This approach isn’t new for Disney; they’ve been implementing a similar strategy for years in markets outside the United States. It’s just new for U.S. audiences.
Disney+ remains a safe space for families. And the two-step launch approach will allow Bundle subscribers with a Disney+ subscription to explore Hulu content and give Disney+ subscribers time to adjust parental controls and establish profiles for the entire family, if they don’t already exist.
Will Disney+ and Hulu still be available as standalone apps?
Yes. This is not a replacement for standalone Hulu or Disney+ – both will still be available as separate offerings. Hulu + Live TV and Premium add ons will still only be available within the Hulu app, along with the full Hulu SVOD content library.
Will Disney+ Get Hulu Internationally?
No. Integrating Hulu into Disney+ is Disney’s response to the success of the Star brand in international markets.
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