Disney is getting ready to enter the streaming game in a big, splashy way this November with the launch of Disney+. The service is meant to be a direct competitor to Netflix and will feature a ton of high-dollar, original programming, such as The Mandalorian, a live-action Lady and the Tramp remake and a slate of Marvel TV shows. To further assert their dominance over the industry, it’s been revealed that Hulu will be offering Disney+ as an add-on, which means the service will be even more accessible to potential subscribers. But also means consumers have an important choice to make.
This news was confirmed by Hulu Senior Vice President of Originals, Craig Erwich, during the TCA’s. Hulu already offers premium add-ons such as HBO and CBS All Access. Essentially, what that means is, those who already subscribe to Hulu can simply add another service onto their monthly bill and that content will then be made available to them via Hulu, rather than have another standalone subscription. And that’s where the important distinction lies when it comes to Disney+ in the near future.
We already know that Disney+ will be $6.99 per month at launch. It’s unclear at the present time if Disney will offer any kind of a discount for bundling with Hulu (and we’ll discuss why they might in a second). Setting that aside, those who already subscribe to Hulu may find it more convenient to just tack-on Disney+ to their existing account. However, that could be limiting. Disney+ hasn’t been in the marketplace yet. If the service’s interface is top-notch and worth having access to, it may be worth getting a separate subscription. For now, there are too many unknown variables to make any kind of recommendation, but it’s something to consider.
For Disney, this makes all the sense in the world. The future is streaming and the company knows it. As such, not only do they have Disney+ on the way, but they also purchased the majority of Fox’s media assets for $71 billion, a deal that went into effect in March. That includes Fox’s former stake in Hulu, which gave Disney a controlling share. Following that deal, Disney made another deal with Comcast to take control of its share, which puts Disney in full control of Hulu. That gives them two major outlets for content in the streaming marketplace. Allowing a bundle option via Hulu just makes business sense. It’s synergy.
It’s also well worth mentioning that other companies such as WarnerMedia are getting more serious about streaming, as they’re set to launch HBO Max by late 2019/early 2020. NBC is also readying a direct-to-consumer platform, not to mention Apple+, which has a ton of big-name creatives like J.J. Abrams and Oprah lined up. Netflix is going to face stiff competition very soon and Disney wants to make sure they’re in a position to win. This serves as just one small, yet wise piece of that puzzle. This news was previously reported by Slash Film.