- Disney is reportedly thinking about merging Disney+ and Hulu into a single streaming service.
- Disney is said to be firing Hulu executives in anticipation of making this move in the near future.
- Disney+ has 73.7 million subscribers and Hulu has 36.6 million subscribers, but combining the two would create a service that is one step closer to competing more readily with Netflix.
In one fell swoop, WarnerMedia changed the face of the entertainment industry earlier this week by announcing that its entire 2021 slate of movies will launch simultaneously in theaters and on HBO Max. The ripple effect of this move is hard to quantify, but, needless to say, the film distribution model will never be the same. In fact, the gravity of this announcement makes it much easier to believe another report that could reshape the streaming wars.
According to Collider, Disney is considering folding Disney+ and Hulu into a single streaming service. The site hears from sources that multiple Hulu executives have already been relieved of their duties ahead of the move.
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As Collider notes, Disney+ is currently home to 73.7 million subscribers, while Hulu — which is now owned by Disney — has 36.6 million subscribers. Wall Street investors would likely be much more impressed with a single service that attracts over 110 million subscribers, which has to be a tempting proposition for Disney.
Combining the services would also broaden the appeal of both. Disney+ has its intellectual property that appeals to people of all ages, but a vast majority of the content on the streaming service is aimed at children. Meanwhile, Hulu has its fair share of content for kids, but the target audience is older. Merging the two would create one of the most diverse and impressive streaming libraries available, possibly threatening Netflix’s seat on the throne.
There are a number of problems that Disney would have to solve if it decides to go this route, from giving parents the tools they need to make sure their kids don’t end up watching inappropriate content to figuring out what to do with the Hulu + Live TV service, which wouldn’t exactly fit cleanly inside of Disney+ and allows users to add on other services. Nevertheless, with consumers increasingly overwhelmed by the sheer quantity of streaming services on the market, merging two of the most popular services into one seems like a sensible plan, even if it means that the resulting service ends up costing more in the process. We’ll have to wait and see if this report holds water.