Disney may have had done a media masterstroke with its exclusive content streaming platform, Disney+. Offering their massive media library (within reason) is an attractive proposition for binge-watchers. But Disney films and series are under the blanket impression of being family-friendly. What about any content that doesn’t fit the mold?
For that, Disney has Hulu, the subscription video-on-demand service they established as a joint venture with fellow media giants. But that was 2007. In recent months Disney increased its 30% stake by acquiring Fox media assets (and their 30%), then AT&T/Time Warner’s 10%. Only Comcast retained 33%, but it’s moot.
That’s because Comcast announced Tuesday, May 14, that they’ve reached a deal with Disney for eventually selling their stake. Their 33% can be purchased by Disney come the year 2024. While everyone waits, the conglomerate that owns NBC and Universal Pictures is giving up its operational control of Hulu now.
So while their stake remains 70% until years from now, Disney already has full control over the whole Hulu platform. It’s being touted by Disney boss Bob Iger as the third leg of their over-the-top options including Disney+ and ESPN+. This will also be the platform of choice for their non-Disney-“compliant” content films and shows.
Iger has proposed the bundling of ESPN+, Disney+ and Hulu. Consumers can then choose to avail of any or all of them as they want. While not as impressive as Netflix’s regular users, Hulu still has 27 million subscribers, a solid foundation to build on.