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Disney said Wednesday it would add Hulu content to its Disney+ streaming app, while also announcing it would raise the price of its ad-free streaming service later this year.
CEO Bob Iger said the company would soon begin offering a “one app experience” in the U.S. that incorporates Hulu content into its flagship streaming service, Disney+. Standalone options for all of Disney’s platforms, including ESPN+, will remain.
“This is a logical progression of our DTC 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 during Wednesday’s earnings call.
Iger attributed the move toward a one-app location for both Disney+ and Hulu content to the “advertising potential for the combined platform.” While Hulu has long offered an ad-supported option for subscribers, Disney+ launched the cheaper tier last year.
Disney will begin to roll out the one-app offering by the end of the calendar year, and Iger said the company would share further details at a later time.
The move comes as Disney has been weighing whether it should buy all of Hulu. Disney owns 66% of Hulu at the moment, while Comcast owns the rest.
The companies reached a deal in 2019 in which Comcast can force Disney to buy (or Disney can require Comcast to sell) that remaining stake in January 2024 at a guaranteed minimum total equity value of $27.5 billion, or about $9.2 billion for the stake.
Disney also announced its fiscal second quarter earnings on Wednesday. The company reported $21.82 billion in revenue, up 13% from the same period last year and beating estimates.
It said its streaming losses had narrowed year over year, even as it lost subscribers during the most recent period.
Disclosure: Comcast owns NBCUniversal, the parent company of CNBC.