A huge third of the Disney Bundle, recent comments suggest Disney may be ready to say goodbye to Hulu.
When Disney entered the streaming game, people knew things would change forever. Suddenly stacks of physical movies on shelves were obsolete; there were dozens of Disney movies all online! But what about non-Disney content? Well, the Disney bundle would have those audiences covered as well, ESPN+ for the sports fans and Hulu for just about everything else.
On its own, Disney+ couldn’t compete with streaming giant Netflix. Even to this day, when comparing just those two, Disney+ still falls short in subscriptions and viewership in many areas. With the added boost of Hulu and ESPN, however, the entire Disney Bundle pushed the number of subscribers just beyond Netflix. This was a considerable achievement, considering how long Netflix has been in the game, compared to the Disney Bundle, which has only been available for around one year.
The rumors made sense, therefore, that former Disney CEO Bob Chapek made plans to purchase the remaining shares of Hulu/ Hulu Live TV to own the service outright. That, along with the purchase of 21st Century Fox, a major provider of tv shows and content for Hulu, made for a compelling case. Why wouldn’t Disney want to own Hulu outright? They would maintain their streaming numbers and have more content, and with people paying more for ad-free Disney plus, they wouldn’t want to charge the average Disney subscriber more for less, would they?…would they?
In another interview today, CEO of the Walt Disney Company Bob Iger was asked about those very rumors that Disney was planning to purchase the remainder of Hulu. Journalist Scott Gustin shared Iger’s response, in which he said, “I’m saying that’s not necessarily the case.” Gustin also retweeted another comment from Iger, in which the CEO said he was open to selling Hulu outright, “Everything is on the table.”
This comes as a complete 180 from the Chapek-era Disney rumors, in which, as mentioned above, the company was rumored to be purchasing the rest of Hulu, not selling its current stake in the streaming service. There is something to consider, however. Early on in his return, Bob Iger did mention that he wasn’t planning on any significant acquisitions, as was his trademark during his earlier tenure. Perhaps not buying Hulu is just something Iger plans to leave to his successor?
Regardless of what happens, should Disney lose Hulu as part of their streaming service, it would put them drastically behind Netflix as a competitor for streaming, something which Netflix could definitely take advantage of in the wake of their password-sharing debacle this month. The streaming wars still rage on, and with this news about Disney and Hulu, it seems they won’t be coming to an end anytime soon.
What do you think about Disney potentially getting rid of Hulu? Let us know in the comments below!