Following this week’s Annual Shareholder Meeting, Disney CEO Bob Iger took part in an interview with CNBC to discuss a wide selection of topics, and one of the major talking points was Disney’s future with streaming.

Disney+ is currently the second most subscribed streaming platform in the world, behind Netflix, and Disney wants to continue to apply pressure on them, as Bob Iger doesn’t like being number two!    Iger explained how they are making major changes to its streaming business to become more profitable, cutting costs, through reducing content spending and looking at how they can make more money.

There are many ways in which Disney+ has achieved this: through the introduction of the ad-supported tier, price rises, and later this summer, Disney is going to start cracking down on account sharing.

However, Disney+ has had some issues, especially in the United States, which is why the launch of Hulu On Disney+ in the United States is so important.  This will drastically increase the stickiness of subscribers, keeping them engaged within the platform and watching more content.   Iger also expressed how the acquisition of 20th Century Fox is really helping them scale up their plans for streaming and doesn’t think that every platform will survive, with expectations that there will be more consolidation within the market.

Iger has said Hulu On Disney+ will be discussed more at the next quarterly investors’ call, which will take place in May. Ultimately, I think Disney will eventually merge Hulu into Disney+, but it might be a while off.

Disney is looking to continue to reduce costs, so marketing costs can be drastically reduced by promoting just one streaming service and focusing on building local original programming in countries where it makes sense to do so, in order to boost more subscribers, so hopefully.

Iger also spoke about how they need to get Disney+ to offer better recommendations to increase engagement and get more people to watch more shows and films. The technical teams’ ability to focus on a single streaming platform allows them much more time and resources to improve Disney+.   Currently, Netflix’s algorithm does a better job of showing subscribers content they might be interested in watching.  The addition of Hulu On Disney+ will help give more information, but it’s also going to take time for that data to be collected to make a meaningful difference.

If Disney wants to be bigger than Netflix, it is going to have to not just learn what makes Netflix so good, but also surpass them.  The excuses that Disney+ is only just four years old and Hulu On Disney+ is brand new, will only last so long.  For Disney+ to compete fully with Netflix, the company needs to knuckle down and focus, which it seems to be doing.

Bob Iger says they know what they have to do, now they just have to start doing it. 

Do you think Disney+ can overtake Netflix?  Let us know on social media!


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Roger Palmer

Roger has been a Disney fan since he was a kid and this interest has grown over the years. He has visited Disney Parks around the globe and has a vast collection of Disney movies and collectibles. He is the owner of What's On Disney Plus & DisKingdom. Email: Twitter: Facebook:

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