Saturday, May 13, 2023

Hulu and Disney+ merger?

While there hasn't been an announcement, the news from Disney indicates that may be coming in the future.

A report in Variety said that Disney is adding Hulu content to the Disney+ app, and that prices for Disney+ will happen later this year.

On Disney's earnings call Wednesday, CEO Bob Iger said the company will soon launch a "one-app experience" in the U.S. that incorporates Hulu content into Disney+. The new combined offering will launch by the end of 2023, available to customers who subscribe to both streaming services, he said.

"While we will continue to offer Disney+, Hulu and ESPN+ as standalone options, this is a logical progression of our [direct-to-consumer] 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.

This doesn't combine the services into one, but it does mean some Hulu content will be available in the Disney+ app, which is a step in that direction.

A price increase is never a good thing for the consumer, but it does happen a lot. However, with the price of everything going up in the past three years, it's certainly not a surprise.

The good news is that the price increase was only announced for the ad-free tier, which is the original service. The ad-supported service will remain the same price for now.

My Streaming Life includes the ad-supported tier, so I won't be impacted by the upcoming price increase. I'm not sure how I feel about the possible combining of the services though. I may like it. But I might now. If it happens, I'll have a decision to make, as I normally just use Hulu alone.

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