Why Disney wants full control over Hulu

With Disney launching its Disney+ streaming service later this year, it might seem odd that the company inked a deal with Comcast to take over operational control of Hulu.

  • However, the move is widely viewed as part of Disney’s larger streaming strategy.
  • Disney+, which is launching later this year, has consistently been billed as a “family friendly” streaming option, with Disney putting its other content, including that of its recently acquired 21st Century Fox assets, on Hulu.
  • While it may seem odd for Disney to want two streaming services, since streaming services don’t have schedules and therefore can offer essentially unlimited programming, analysts point to one word: Bundling.
  • With Disney gaining full control over Hulu immediately and likely full ownership in 2024, it can explore ways to bundle the service with its paid Disney+ service, set to launch later this year.
  • Disney announced an initial price of $6.99 a month for Disney+ — a price that took some by surprise — so being able to “bundle” Hulu with that could be key in increasing revenues.
  • It also allows Disney to maintain the Hulu branding, which is well known to consumers.
  • In addition, with the Disney name widely associated with its trademark films, the Hulu brand could also play a key role in helping consumers understand that Hulu has a wider range of content.
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