Well, shows how much I know. At least it shows the difference between what I would have done vs what Bob Iger wants to do. But one of us is a longtime CEO and the other just talks about what the other is doing so, I’m not surprised it worked out that way. But the point is that Disney will be launching an app to merge Disney+ and Hulu into one interface with a password protected option to separate Disney+’s more family oriented programming from Hulu’s, which can be anything under the sun.
The new app will launch in Beta in December for customers who choose to bundle the services together. There has been no word on if the app will work in ESPN+ for users who sign up for all three services or how things will play out for those who sign up for Hulu With Live TV, which also includes access to Disney+ and ESPN+.
Either way, Disney is entering a brave new world when it comes to the power it can wield in the marketplace with control of one of the largest multi-channel providers in Hulu with Live TV, a direct to consumer option in Disney+ with over 150 million subscribers and the growing presense of ESPN+ and the looming direct to consumer ESPN product. While there has been no launch date for the yet to be officially announced service, it is on the radar to the point where Disney included access to it as part of the Charter Spectrum deal.
The marketplace has yet to see the impact of a Hulu 100% owned by Disney. I expect that many will look at the period before as the good old days, because small operators will be at Disney’s mercy when it comes to negotiations. Hulu will still have to negotiate with companies like Comcast and Warner Brothers Discovery for content so you can expect the Comcast negotiations to look much more like Charter Spectrum with Disney willing to give as much as it takes in order to carry MSNBC, CNBC, USA Network and the many other channels owned by Comcast.