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Is Disney Plus shutting down?

Disney Plus and Hulu: Implications for Marvel, Losses & Future of Streaming

Disney+

As anticipation builds for the upcoming season of Doctor Who finding a new home on Disney Plus, discussions arise over Bob Iger’s decision potentially signaling the end of the streaming service. Could the weight of housing Marvel permanently be a factor?

The stir began when Disney announced its plans to merge Disney Plus and Hulu, aiming to create a unified “one app experience” previously discussed by Bob Iger in May 2023. This consolidation is slated to debut next month, combining both streamers and their respective content into a single streaming platform.

Is Disney Plus about to vanish? Or is Hulu on the chopping block instead?

Hulu

Marvel’s streaming journey has seen its ups and downs, with highlights like Loki and potentially Moon Knight shining amidst concerns. Thor: Love and Thunder‘s permanent spot on Disney Plus hasn’t contributed positively to the platform’s appeal. While the loss in Q4 of 2023 was lower than the massive $1.4 billion hit in 2022, it still amounted to over $300 million. Despite these fluctuations, Disney isn’t looking to pull the plug on the streaming service based on their official stance.

The anticipated consolidation is still pending as Disney works on finalizing the acquisition of Comcast’s one-third stake in Hulu, putting forth an offer of over $8 billion to secure full ownership of the streamer’s content.

The combined platform is set for an initial beta release in the United States in December 2023, with an official launch scheduled for spring next year. In preparation, Disney has introduced a new bundled subscription of Disney Plus and Hulu, requiring separate app downloads. The ad-supported version is priced at $9.99/month, while the ad-free option costs $19.99/month.

Customers opting for this bundle will have priority access to subscribe to the unified app. This updated version of the current Disney Plus app won’t replace it entirely; instead, it will serve as a hub for both streaming services, allowing simultaneous access to both libraries. While there will be some overlap in content, like Marvel’s Echo, each service will maintain its distinct catalog.

As of now, there are no intentions to eliminate either streaming platform. The new version aims to streamline the viewing experience, enabling seamless navigation between Disney Plus and Hulu, and naturally, offering Disney increased advertising opportunities.

Quick summary

  1. Disney’s Merger Plans: Disney Plus and Hulu are set for a merger to create a unified streaming experience, combining content from both platforms. Despite financial losses and mixed reception for some Marvel content, Disney aims to streamline this new platform, initially launching in beta in December 2023 and officially in spring next year.
  2. Impact and Approach: The merged platform won’t replace the existing Disney Plus app but will serve as a hub for both services. Customers can access separate libraries through a bundled subscription. While there’s uncertainty regarding the future of the individual services, the aim is to enhance user experience, offering seamless navigation and potentially boosting advertising revenue for Disney.
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