After buying out Comcast’s share of Hulu for $8.61 billion earlier this month, Disney is moving ahead with plans to fully integrate the streaming service with Disney+ for a combined app that will feature both services, according to Disney CEO Bob Iger.
Speaking on an investors call Wednesday, Iger said, “We remain on track to roll out a more unified one-app experience domestically, making extensive general entertainment content available to bundle subscribers via Disney+.” A beta test version of the combined app will roll out in December, ahead of a full launch in spring 2024, according to the company.
It’s worth noting that Hulu as a brand only exists in the US, with much of the Hulu-exclusive or original content already available on Disney+ internationally via the Star hub in the app. Star, which originated in Latin America, was launched as a Disney+ hub for content from FX, Freeform, 20th Television, 20th Century Films, and other adult-targeted brands on the streaming service for subscribers in Australia, Canada, Europe, South Africa, and multiple Middle Eastern and Asian markets in 2021.
It’s unknown whether or not Disney intends to use the Hulu brand to replace Star internationally, or if it will remain a U.S.-only offering.
As things currently stand, the combined Hulu/Disney+ app will require separate subscriptions to both streaming services, although Disney has been offering a bundle offering for some months; it’s possible that the company is waiting to see how successful the dual app is before making a final decision about combining the two services on a permanent basis. Keep your eyes peeled across the next few months for updates — but at least you’ll only have to keep them focused on one app starting in December.
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