Disney is making major changes to its streaming services (Hulu, Disney+, and ESPN+) including trimming content on its platforms and raising the cost of its ad-free plan on Disney+.
During an earnings call on Wednesday, CEO Bob Iger announced that the company is going to launch a “one-app experience,” combining Hulu and Disney+ content on one platform.
“I’ve now had another 3 months to really study this carefully and figure out what is the best path for us to grow this business. It’s clear that a combination of the content that is on Disney+ with general entertainment is a very positive,” Iger said on the call.
Additionally, the Disney CEO added that it will be raising the price of its ad-free tier to “better reflect the value of our content offerings.” The current price of Disney+’s ad-free plan is $10.99 per month.
However, it remains unclear how the uptick in cost will affect subscriber counts. In August of 2022, Disney increased the price of both Hulu and Disney+, and lost about three million subscribers between Q4 2022 and Q1 2023, according to Statista. The latest earnings report recorded a subscriber loss of four million, marking a consecutive three-quarter downward trend, so only time will tell how the new price increase will affect the subscriber base.
Related: Disney CEO Says Disney+ Should ‘Achieve Profitability’ in 2024 As Its User Base Reaches 164 Million
The combined app will likely roll out by the end of the calendar year, Iger said. Additionally, Disney said it will begin evaluating content across its streaming platforms with the intention to make some cuts.
Removing content will help the company “align with the strategic changes in our approach to content curation,” Disney CFO Christine McCarthy said on the call.
Disney’s latest move comes nearly a month after HBO and Warner Bros Discovery announced a combined streaming service called Max, set to launch on May 23rd.
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