Walt Disney on Wednesday began offering Hulu as part of its eponymous streaming service, bolstering Disney+’s family content with more general entertainment content.such as FX’s intense culinary drama “The Bear” and the popular reality show “The Kardashians.”
The combined offer, known as “Hulu on Disney+”, will be available in a first “beta” version for national subscribers to the Disney package of streaming services. The official launch of the integrated service is planned for March.
Disney CEO Bob Iger told investors last month that the company would begin offering a “unified, single-app experience” that would make Hulu shows, including “Only Murders in the Building,” ABC’s “Abbott Elementary,” and adult animated standouts like “Family Guy,” available to certain subscribers from Disney+.
“We hope Hulu on Disney+ translates into greater engagement, greater advertising opportunitieslower churn and reduced customer acquisition costs, which will increase our overall margins,” Iger told investors in November during the company’s fiscal fourth-quarter earnings call.
Investors are pressuring Iger to make Disney’s streaming business profitable. In the quarter ending September 30, Disney narrowed operating losses to $420 million, a dramatic improvement from a year ago.when operating losses exceeded US$1.4 billion.
The company said it is on track to achieve profitability by the end of fiscal 2024.
Disney began the process of acquiring the remaining stake in Hulu from the parent company of NBCUniversalComcast, for at least $8.6 billion, clearing the way for the integration.
Hulu will occupy its own “tile” on Disney+, alongside the company’s other entertainment brands, such as Marvel, Star Wars and Pixar, and will be included in the promotional carousel at the top of the app.