Disney CEO, Bob Iger, recently announced a plan to create a single app for streaming subscribers in the U.S. This app will merge the family-friendly content of Disney+ with Hulu’s general entertainment shows. The decision sheds light on Disney plans strategy for streaming services.
Starting next year, Comcast can make Disney buy its 33% ownership in Hulu for at least $27.5 billion, or Disney can ask Comcast to sell it. While Disney will still offer Disney+, ESPN+, and Hulu as separate subscriptions, Iger believes that combining Disney+ and Hulu into one app will lead to more engagement and advertising opportunities.
Iger acknowledged that the details are not fully worked out, but combining the content from Disney+ with general entertainment on Hulu is seen as a positive and powerful move.
Disney is facing pressure to prove to Wall Street that its streaming efforts will become profitable. Last quarter, Disney+ lost 4 million subscribers, mainly due to losses in India. However, Disney has been successful in becoming more efficient by cutting costs, reducing content spending, and making layoffs, resulting in a $400 million reduction in streaming losses last quarter.
Moving forward, Disney plans to produce less content and remove some from its streaming platforms, which will lead to a charge of $1.5 billion to $1.8 billion. This approach mirrors efforts by other companies, like Warner Bros. Discovery, to increase profitability.
Bob Iger also addressed Disney’s ongoing disagreement with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis. He referred to DeSantis’ actions as “retaliation” for Disney’s stance on pending legislation. DeSantis has been attempting to remove Disney’s special governance powers due to the company’s opposition to the governor’s “Don’t Say Gay” law.
In summary, Disney’s plan to combine Disney+ and Hulu into one app is a strategic move as the company navigates challenges and changes in the streaming landscape, working towards profitability while addressing political battles.