November 17, 2023

Changes in the video streaming market: a joint app for Disney+ and Hulu.

Szymon Karbowski
Changes in the video streaming market: a joint app for Disney+ and Hulu.

The Walt Disney Company has completed a deal to buy a 33% stake in Hulu from Comcast for at least $8.6 billion. Disney, as the sole owner of Hulu, will therefore be able to count on 48 million subscribers to the service. At a recent investor meeting, Bob Iger, managing director of the Disney Group, outlined the plan to launch a combined app for Disney+ and Hulu.

Iger announced plans to combine the Disney+ and Hulu services into a single app on 8 November. A beta launch in the US next month and an official app release planned for spring 2024. The app will first be available to those who subscribe to Disney+ and Hulu packages so that these users can have free access to all the content on offer.

The number of Disney+ subscribers currently stands at 150.2 million paying subscribers. In the last quarter, they added more than 4.1 million new users. The main Disney+ service has 112.6 million users and India's Disney+ Hotstar, despite losing 12.5 million subscribers in the last quarter, now has 37.6 million. The additional 48 million Hulu subscribers that Disney+ will add is a very large and attractive number not only for advertisers but also for investors.

Now Disney separately offers both services combined in one Disney+ and Hulu package, but users have to download the two apps separately. This bundled package with adverts now costs USD 9.99 per month, while the ad-free package costs USD 19.99 per month. The subscription price for the new app is not yet known.

Disney's pursuit of Netflix is slow. Netflix currently has more than 247 million subscribers. The undisputed leader among video streaming platforms, which is undoubtedly Netflix, has not seen any increase in canceled subscriptions despite the fight against account sharing. With the removal of the ability to share accounts within a household, the market leader saw a significant increase in revenue, which exceeded the platform's wildest expectations in the last quarter.

Meanwhile, Disney+ continues to lose significant money on video streaming. It reported a loss of $387 million in Q4, still a huge improvement on the same period last year, when the loss was more than $1.74 billion (or 74% more). It's a good thing that users will be able to use the combined services of Disney+ and Hulu in a single app. To see how this move will benefit the Disney group financially, we will have to wait a few months. We do not yet know the subscription price for the new app. However, we can already see that video streaming users are increasingly turning to cheaper packages with advertising. In addition, the steady increase in the price of package subscriptions on all the streaming platforms make their investors very happy.

#SzymonKarbowski #StreamVX #Disney+ #Hulu #Netflix  #videostreaming

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