Launching the joint application for package subscribers

Subscribers to both Disney+ and Hulu will now see the “full” Hulu experience in Disney+ app – And the Mouse House wants to use the official launch of the integrated product to turn standalone Disney+ customers into dual-service subs.

Starting Wednesday (March 27), the full Hulu experience will roll out to Disney+ in the US, meaning Hulu titles will be integrated into personalized content recommendations, collections, and collections on Disney+. Under the previous “beta” integration, which launched last December, Hulu content was offered in a separate hub on Disney+.

Integrating Hulu tightly into Disney+ is aimed at increasing total viewing hours among customers who already have both streamers — but who may not necessarily be aware of the range of content they can watch. Higher engagement with a streaming service is associated with lower cancellation rates.

Meanwhile, standalone Disney+ subscribers in the US will be a tougher sell on Hulu. They'll see Hulu content promoted in the app — accompanied by new upgrade options in multiple places on Disney+ and across additional devices prompting them to get Hulu. Bundle plans with both services cost $9.99 per month with ads ($2 more than Disney+ Basic with ads by itself) and $19.99 per month without ads (versus $13.99 per month for standalone Disney+ Premium). Both Disney+ and Hulu remain available as standalone offerings.

Disney is launching its first marketing campaign for Hulu on Disney+, which is described as a 360-degree initiative that includes out-of-home placements, personalized streaming and digital ads, co-branded social media posts, and coastal “experimental stunts,” including on- Site activation at Disneyland Resort and Walt Disney World Resort. (Watch the first Hulu on Disney+ below.)

The overall message: “Disney+ and Hulu are better together! They're available at one unbelievable price,” said Joe Early, president of direct-to-consumer distribution at Disney Entertainment.

Courtesy of Disney

Additionally, with the launch of Hulu on Disney+, the Disney+ logo has been updated with a color scheme the company calls “Twilight” — a reference to both the “Sleeping Beauty” heroine and the aurora borealis — that blends the green of Hulu with the blue of Disney+. . The rolling brand also features a new orchestral “remembrance” soundtrack for Disney+ created by Oscar-winning composer Ludwig Göransson (hear it at this link).

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Disney does not disclose how many subscribers get its streaming packages. Customers with multiple product offerings in the United States are counted as paid subscribers for each service. As of December 30, 2023, Disney+ had 46.1 million subscribers in the US and Canada (down sequentially from 46.5 million after a price increase on the ad-free tier) and Hulu had 49.7 million subscribers (up from 48.5 million in the previous quarter).

According to Early, after Hulu's soft launch on Disney+, “engagement exceeded our expectations across every single metric,” including increases in total viewing hours per subscriber and number of titles watched (but he didn't reveal the numbers). He also said that the beta test beat Disney's internal goals for generating ad revenue.

Hulu's 70,000+ TV episodes and movies include licensed content like “Grey's Anatomy” and original and exclusive shows like “Shōgun,” “Only Murders in the Building,” “Poor Things” and “The Bear.” These titles will be featured directly in the Disney+ app alongside shows and movies from Marvel, Star Wars, Walt Disney Studios, Pixar, and more.

Some Hulu titles are not available on Disney+ due to content licensing restrictions, as was the case during the beta testing period. These include ABC's sitcom “Modern Family” and ITV's reality dating show “Love Island.”

The launch of Hulu on Disney+ represents “the most significant technical, operational and product development for Disney+ since its launch” in November 2019, according to Aaron LaBerge, CTO of Disney Entertainment and ESPN. He added that the work done in integrating Hulu with Disney+ will be leveraged in future strategic projects, including integrating Star+ into Disney+ in Latin America in June and to launch a standalone direct-to-consumer ESPN offering in 2025.

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For the foreseeable future, the live channels in the Hulu + Live TV package will no longer be available on Disney+. But LaBerge said Disney+'s tech stack supports live channel delivery, noting that ESPN networks will be added to Disney+ in Latin America this summer.

With the addition of Hulu's general entertainment content — including a host of adult-oriented shows — Disney is encouraging Disney+ subscribers to create profiles for each family member and assign kid-friendly ratings where appropriate. According to Early, eligible Disney+ subscribers have created more than 5 million secondary profiles since the soft launch of Hulu on Disney+. Overall, more than 72% of eligible 18+ profiles on Disney+ are set to Maximum Content Rating (TV-MA), which allows these subscribers to access the full Hulu catalog on Disney+.

Watch Hulu's Disney+ “We'll Be Friends” ad, highlighting content from both services (set to the White Stripes song “We'll Be Friends”):

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