With its sights set on growing profits for its streaming business, the Walt Disney Company plans to offer a single app that rolls Hulu content into Disney Plus. Disney CEO Bob Iger shared the news during the media giant’s second quarter earnings call on Wednesday. The new streaming option will roll out by the end of 2023, he said.
Disney Plus launched its ad-based tier in December for $8 a month while increasing the price of its ad-free plan to $11. Along with the new price structure for the standalone subscriptions, the company also introduced two new bundles that include access to Hulu and ESPN Plus. The Disney Bundle Duo Basic includes Hulu and Disney Plus with ads and costs, while the Disney Bundle Trio Basic features Disney Plus, Hulu and ESPN Plus and is priced at $13 per month. Disney didn’t share details on the cost of the new subscription, but noted it will launch as an ad-supported option.
Iger said Disney Plus, Hulu and ESPN Plus will remain standalone streaming services, but the single app will provide another choice for subscribers. He compared it to Disney Plus Hotstar that is available outside of the US, a streaming service combines programming from several platforms. For customers who already have a Disney bundle, the experience will eliminate the need to switch between apps to watch TV shows and movies.
“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,” Iger said.
Disney Plus is seemingly following in the footsteps of Paramount Plus and HBO Max. Paramount Plus added Showtime content to its app and offers the combined version as a premium bundle, with standalone options still available. The company also rebranded Showtime’s linear cable channel as Paramount Plus with Showtime, which airs content from both brands. HBO Max is set to relaunch as Max on May 23 with merged content from HBO Max’s full library and select titles from Discovery Plus.