By the end of the year, you won't need as many apps to watch all your favorite streaming content.
That's because Disney is combining Hulu and Disney+ into one single app, though the company will still offer them and ESPN+ as standalone options.
During Disney's Q2 earnings call Wednesday, CEO Bob Iger said the move 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."
With the change, coming by the end of 2023, Iger said the company also intends to raise prices of Hulu's ad-free plan, which currently costs $14.99 per month, and its ad-supported tier, which costs $7.99 per month.
The company had just raised prices for both Hulu and Disney+ in December, though the two apps with ESPN+ have been offered as a discounted bundle since 2020.
The announcement comes as Disney faces a decision to fully buy Hulu from Comcast. Currently the companies have a 66%-33% split, with Disney owning the larger portion. A 2019 deal between the two companies says Comcast can require Disney to buy or Disney can require Comcast to sell the smaller stake in January 2024 at a guaranteed minimum total of about $9.2 billion.
During the call Wednesday, Iger said there have been "constructive" decisions about Disney acquiring the stake but added, "It has not yet been fully determined what’s going to happen."
The move to have fewer platforms follows the path other streaming services have taken recently: Warner Bros. Discovery is merging HBO Max and Discovery+ into one streaming service, Max, and Paramount+ is pairing up with Showtime.
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