Disney CFO Reveals More Details On Hulu Being Added Into Disney+
Last week, Disney CEO Bob Iger revealed plans to integrate Hulu into Disney+ in the United States later this year, in what he called a one-app experience, allowing Hulu subscribers to access content within Disney+. Due to Comcast still owning one-third of Hulu until next year, Disney isn’t in a position to fully merge the two apps together, so is making moves to get Disney Bundle subscribers in the US used to seeing Hulu as part of one system.
This week, Disney’s Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, Christine McCarthy, took part in a Q&A session at the SVB MoffettNathanson Technology, Media & Telecom Conference and was asked about what they’re trying to achieve by creating a more unified app in terms of Hulu and Disney+. She replied:
So what Bob talked about on the — on our earnings call last week was putting a Hulu tile on Disney+. It’s not going to have all of Hulu content on there. It will have a lot of it. But a consumer who has Disney+ with that tile when it launches, can — doesn’t have to get out of Disney+ and go into Hulu to find content. It can go — it can stay in the Disney+ platform go into that tile, which is just like the Marvel tile or the Disney tile or the Pixar tile, you go into that tile. And then you can search for the content without having to go in and out.
I have a fundamental belief that when you present friction to a consumer, it’s never the best experience. And so, eliminating this friction is just human nature. You’re not asking someone to do an additional step. You just stay there, if you want to pop out of whatever you’re watching on one of our other tiles into Hulu, you just don’t have that additional steps.
There are a few interesting notes from this comment, first off, that Hulu is going to be a tile on Disney+, similar to how Marvel or Star Wars is. This is also similar to how the general entertainment brand, Star, works internationally right now, though I’m hoping there might be some more changes along the way to improve the experience.
It’s also worth noting that Christine said that not everything from Hulu will be available within Disney+, which might be a way of not offering some third-party content or live offerings from Hulu.
Christine was also asked if the addition of Hulu to Disney+ is better for advertising:
Well, first of all, it drives engagement. And so, engagement is a core component of how we think about ourselves as a streaming platform. It’s really important as you think of, again, what Christine talked about frictionless experience, but the whole consumer journey from the time you step into the app, to the environment that you experience within moving from content to content, the recommendation engine of what comes after you’ve watched this, what’s coming next and what that advertising experience, that’s where we’re going to win.
That’s where understanding all of those data points and signals that we’re getting from how users come in and experience that product is really going to drive how we think about the consumer journey, how we think about the advertising experience, and ultimately, how we deliver for brands in that experience. And so, it’s going to start within that. And hopefully, over time, having them all on one back end allows us to have richer data on the consumer what they like to watch what they don’t like to watch, and better advertising because of a ban.
Hopefully, as we get closer to the launch of Hulu within Disney+, we will find out more information on how all of this is going to work. As judging from Christine’s comments, it does sound more like a “Star” type hub is being added to Disney+, but we are just going to have to wait and see what this will bring.
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