Earlier this summer, Disney CEO Bob Iger revealed early plans that Hulu On Disney+ would launch later this year in the United States, bringing Hulu content into Disney+ as part of a one-app experience. And finally, having completed their purchase of Comcast’s stake in Hulu, Disney now has complete control of Hulu and has now revealed more details on Hulu on Disney+.
Unfortunately, because Disney hasn’t been fully able to get everything it needed into place for a launch this year, Hulu on Disney+ will be in a Beta state until March 2024, so it basically means it doesn’t have all the features it wanted to have available.
Here’s everything you need to know:
Starting today, when Bundle subscribers open their Disney+ app, they will see a Hulu tile appear alongside the Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars, and National Geographic tiles.
Clicking on the Hulu tile will take subscribers to a Hulu Hub, where they’ll be able to choose from thousands of movies and series from Hulu’s library for playback via Disney+. They will have access to extensive Hulu content, including award-winning Originals, next-day TV, and a huge library, right there, inside Disney+ without the friction of navigating from one app to another.
Most users should see Hulu on Disney+ now, though the rollout will happen throughout the day.
Why is this being called the “beta” phase? When will the official launch happen?
What Bundle subscribers will see today is a limited beta version, with the official launch slated for March 2024. Joe Earley—Disney Entertainment’s President of Direct-to-Consumer said:
“It’s an exciting next step for Direct-to-Consumer, but it’s important that people have managed expectations about what the experience is going to be,”
The beta version is intended to help Disney better understand the consumer’s needs and wants when it comes to Hulu on Disney+ before it officially launches in the spring. It will also give parents time to set up controls that make sure everyone in their household is watching what’s appropriate for them.
Will Hulu’s series and films that are more geared toward adults conflict with the more family-friendly Disney+ brand?
No, according to Earley, who explained that the company has already seen great success outside of the United States where Disney’s classic and general entertainment titles exist in one app.
He underscored that one of the company’s top priorities is ensuring Disney+ remains a safe space for families. And that the two-step launch approach will allow Bundle subscribers with a Disney+ subscription to explore Hulu content and give Disney+ subscribers time to adjust parental controls and establish profiles for the entire family, if they don’t already exist.
With the addition of Hulu On Disney+, it will bring Disney+ in line with how the streaming platform runs in most countries around the world, with general entertainment content from studios like FX, Onyx Collective, ABC and 20th Century Studios.
“There are a few reasons why we think this is going to be an exciting new experience for our subscribers. Even before the launch of Disney+, research was very clear that consumers want ‘kid time,’ ‘we time,’ and ‘me time.’ I want incredible stuff for my kids, I want to watch things as a family, and then I want to put the kids to bed and watch things that are more adult in nature.”
What does Disney want to accomplish with Hulu on Disney+?
Earley hopes that this integration continues Disney’s commitment to putting subscribers first and creating a seamless viewing experience for all. He also hopes it will drive deeper engagement and discoverability by having more content available in one place.
“It’s an unbelievable value in terms of the price point for the Bundle, to get all this content in one place. Beyond unlocking that experience for our existing Bundle subscribers, our hope is to inspire Disney+ and Hulu standalone subscribers to upgrade to the Bundle as well, once they see everything that can be accessed.”
Will Disney+ and Hulu still be available as standalone apps?
Yes. This is not a replacement for standalone Hulu or Disney+ – both will still be available as separate offerings. Hulu + Live TV and Premium add ons will still only be available within the Hulu app, along with the full Hulu SVOD content library.
What does this mean for Disney’s streaming strategy overall?
For Earley, the focuses for Disney’s streaming business are reaching and maintaining profitability, which CEO Bob Iger has said is one of the key four pillars of building at Disney, as well as turning streaming into a very healthy margin business.
“The road to get there requires that we optimize what we have now in terms of content, marketing and user experience, and then monetize it in the best way possible.
What does this mean for Disney+ internationally?
Since the Star Hub already exists outside the US, international Disney+ subscribers won’t get the launch of Hulu.
Are you looking forward to seeing Hulu content on Disney+? Let us know on social media!
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.