Disney+ will soon be a thing of the past, says Disney CEO Bob Iger, and parents need to get prepared for that.
The Walt Disney Company has been struggling to compete in the world of streaming television. Despite the company’s vast catalog of family classics, the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Star Wars and Indiana Jones, and Pixar (not to mention The Simpsons and National Geographic), its streaming service has been unable to overtake Netflix as the world’s most popular platform.
While Disney+ remains a competitor against Netflix, Max, Amazon Prime Video, and others, it also turns out that the streaming platform is actually losing the company hundreds of millions of dollars. Disney’s recent earnings report showed that its current attempts to corner the streaming market have been utterly failing, even as it increasingly jacks up subscription prices and deletes original content.
Disney and Hulu
For months, Bob Iger has promised that there would be some new streaming service that would combine the catalog of Disney and Hulu, the streaming platform co-owned by Disney and Comcast.
Until recently, that is. Disney recently announced plans to entirely purchase Hulu, an expenditure that will pump billions more into a field that is already losing the company a grotesque amount of money. While streaming has not been kind to Disney, it seems that Bob Iger can only see one way forward for the company.
In a call to analysts, Iger revealed that beginning in December, the new service will be beta-tested as a combined app with Hulu, with both apps to be permanently replaced in March of 2024 (per Deadline). According to him, parents will need to be prepared for this because the Hulu catalog is basically full of programming not intended for children, unlike the deliberately family-friendly original app.
Bob Iger said, “We are basically putting it in beta so that we can prepare parents, largely, to basically implement parental controls, because you’ll be able to access Hulu programming on the same app.”
Bob Iger and Streaming TV
In other words, if parents are not careful, they will soon have access to a lot of TV shows and movies that they did not sign up for and might not want their children to see.
Currently, there is a Disney bundle that includes a single price for Disney+, Hulu, and ESPN, but all exist as separate apps. According to Iger, increasing opportunities to bundle subscription products like a streaming platform gives the company much better “upsell capabilities,” which is not a term likely to sound good to many consumers.
Despite streaming losing the Walt Disney Co. so much money, Bob Iger seems very convinced that it is the future. He is already betting a huge amount of the company’s success on the idea of a vastly expanded ESPN+ service, which would include live TV and integrated options for sports gambling. Not very family friendly.
Bob Iger can only hope they’ll be satisfied with what he wants them to buy instead.
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