Disney+ and Hulu will be merged into a single app

During Disney’s latest earnings call, CEO Bob Iger announced that a “one-app experience” that combines Disney+ and Hulu content is set to launch in late 2023. While Disney will still offer Disney+, Hulu and ESPN+ as standalone options, the combination of services is a “logical progression” of its direct-to-consumer offerings. This move will provide greater opportunities for advertisers, while offering bundle subscribers access to more robust and streamlined content.

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It isn’t yet clear what form this merger will take in South Africa or other countries that don’t have all the same offerings. For example, we don’t currently have the option to bundle Hulu and ESPN+, with Disney+ being standalone at this point.

The announcement has also sparked speculation that Disney may be considering buying Comcast’s 33 percent stake in Hulu. However, Iger did not elaborate on the company’s plans, saying only that Disney has had “constructive” talks with Comcast about the future of Hulu.

In addition to the combined streaming app, Iger revealed that Disney+ will be getting another price increase after adding $3 to its ad-free streaming tier’s monthly fee in December. While Iger did not disclose when the price hike would take effect, he did indicate that the ad-free and ad-supported tiers would cost more than $11 and $8, respectively. Again, we don’t have any information about what the price change could possibly be in South Africa.

Despite reporting a 26 percent decrease in operating losses for its streaming business, Disney still suffered a $659 million loss. The company had promised investors that the business would be profitable by the end of the 2024 fiscal year. It remains to be seen whether the combined Disney+ and Hulu app will be enough to convince new users to subscribe or for old subscribers to return. In the first quarter of 2023, Disney+ lost 4 million subscribers after shedding 2.4 million users in the previous quarter.