This past week, Disney’s President of Global Advertising, Rita Ferro, took part in Fireside Chat with Justin Lebbon on LinkenIn, where she spoke about advertising on Disney’s linear channels and streaming platforms, including Disney+ and Hulu.
Last month, Hulu On Disney+ launched in the United States, offering Hulu content within Disney+ for subscribers to both platforms via the Disney Streaming Bundle. This new feature is currently in Beta mode, as it doesn’t have all of the content from Hulu and is very limited in terms of features, though this is set to change in March when Hulu On Disney+ is set to launch properly.
The new Hulu tile takes 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, inside Disney+ without the friction of navigating from one app to another.
During the interview, Rita revealed that the launch of Hulu On Disney+ “has far exceeded every metric we had planned for it in the short period of time that we’ve had it.”
The addition of Hulu On Disney+ helps make it easier for bundled customers to access all the content they want in an easier way, with Rita adding, that the addition of the beta has increased engagement, as “when you give them the ability to discover that they have that content accessible in the experience they’re viewing it in, they spend more time on that content.”
She also revealed that their business is now 50% linear and 50% streaming, which means they’re uniquely positioned against other streaming platforms and studios. Disney has the scale to produce enough premium content and reach a global audience, which they feel makes them stand out from the competition.
But in many cases, the competition is often a business partner, such as Amazon, Apple, and Google, since they need to get access to customers through their devices like Amazon Firesticks or Apple TVs.
Rita also stressed that having the benefit of offering an ad-supported tier and a subscription service, allows them and their customers more flexibility. Rita doesn’t think that linear is going away, but it’s changing. They want their content to reach as big an audience as they can.
During the interview, Rita also reconfirmed that 50% of new signups to Disney+ are now picking the ad-supported tier, which they hope will grow and shows that audiences are willing to watch ads, but they have to be high quality and have a lower load rate.
There is a lot of expectation that Disney+ and Hulu will eventually merge, as consolidating the streaming services together will reduce costs and help reduce the churn of subscribers. Many are looking at how many streaming services customers are willing to subscribe to. During the interview, Rita predicts that we will see more consolidation but also might see one of the big players admit they can’t compete and might leave due to the level of competition.
With the full launch of Hulu On Disney+ coming up in just a couple of months, hopefully, we will get some more information on the full version pretty soon (likely at CES in Las Vegas next week), but Rita’s comments also indicate that audiences are responding well to the Hulu content being available within Disney+. This isn’t a huge surprise, since the launch of the Star tile on Disney+ internationally a couple of years ago, delivered the same response.
Has the launch of Hulu On Disney+ met your expectations? 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.