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Analysis: Potential Combined Hulu, Disney+ Service Would Own Most Top U.S. Titles

David Satin

Perhaps no media company will bear more watching over the next few months than the Walt Disney Company. The House of Mouse announced on Nov. 20 that it was showing CEO Bob Chapek the door, and former CEO Bob Iger would be taking the corporate reins once again.

One of Chapek’s stated goals, when he was in charge, was a possible combination of the company’s two streaming platforms, Hulu and Disney+. If that plan goes ahead despite Chapek’s exit, it would give the combined service a powerful content library. According to a report from Ampere Analysis, a combined offering of Disney+ and Hulu would account for the largest share of the 100 most popular movies and TV series of any U.S. subscription video-on-demand (SVOD) service.

The combined service would account for 30% of the most popular titles. The next-closest competitor would be Netflix, which has 23% of the most popular titles in the U.S. HBO Max is next on the list with 14%, with the other major streamers in the U.S. claiming between 6% and 9% each.

Hulu would have to combat the exodus of titles that it has seen over the past year to keep its percentage of popular titles high, however. It lost well-loved NBC titles like “The Voice,” “The Blacklist,” and “Chicago Fire” when NBCUniversal migrated its content to its own streamer Peacock earlier this year.

Other media companies have also been removing their content from Hulu. Combined content from NBCUniversal, Paramount Global, and Warner Bros. Discovery now makes up less than 10% of all TV shows and movies on the service as they try to bring their content to their own platforms. Meanwhile, the proportion of Hulu’s catalog to which Disney owns the distribution rights has tripled since September 2016, from 6% of all movies and TV shows to 19% by September 2022.

“The threat of further popular or critically acclaimed titles leaving Hulu for rival platforms is a concern as engaging content is critical for subscriber retention, especially as the US SVoD market nears saturation,” Ampere analyst Christen Tamisin said. “This risk makes the argument for Disney to merge Hulu and Disney+ into a single platform stronger.”

The merging of Disney+ and Hulu would have to wait until Disney acquires the remaining third of Hulu that it does not currently own from Comcast, but that purchase is contractually due to take place before 2024, and Disney could potentially close the deal sooner.

The real X-factor in the Hulu-Disney+ merger discussion is Iger. His return to the top chair at Disney may signal a speeding-up of the timeline for Disney+ and Hulu, or it may mean he wants to take the services in different directions than Chapek had planned. Since Disney+ is due to launch an ad-supported tier on Dec. 8, it shouldn’t take long to determine how dramatically Iger intends to shake up the plans of his predecessor.

A combined Hulu-Disney+ would have incredibly strong content offerings, but only time will tell if such a service is a part of Iger’s corporate vision.

  • Disney+

    Disney+ is a video streaming service with over 13,000 series and films from Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars, National Geographic, The Muppets, and more. It is available in 61 countries and 21 languages. It is notable for its popular original series like “The Mandalorian,” “Ms. Marvel,” “Loki,” “Obi-Wan Kenobi,” and “Andor.”

    Disney+ has two plans – one with ads and one without ads. Disney+ Basic with Ads costs $7.99 / month. If you don’t want ads, you can choose Disney+ Premium with No Ads which costs $10.99 / month.

    The Premium plan also offers an annual option for $109.99 / year ($9.17/mo.).

    If you want all of Disney streaming services, they have two options for The Disney Bundle. The Disney Bundle Basic includes Disney+, Hulu, and ESPN+ (with Ads) for $7.99 / month. The Disney Bundle Premium (without Ads) for $19.99 / month.

    The app supports unlimited downloads (on their Premium Plans), four simultaneous streamers, up to 7 profiles, 4K streaming, and includes hundreds of avatars.

    The service includes 25+ original series, 10+ original movies, 7,500 past episodes, 100 recent movies, and 400 library titles including the entire Disney Vault.

    You can see the full list of available Disney, Disney Channel, Star Wars, Pixar, Marvel, Nat Geo shows and movies, or all available Disney+ content by checking out our Disney+ Streaming Movie List.

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    Get Disney+, Hulu, and ESPN+ for just $12.99 a month ($13 savings).

  • Hulu

    Hulu is a video streaming service that gives access to thousands of full seasons of exclusive series, hit movies, kids shows, and Hulu Originals like “Only Murders in the Building,” and “The Handmaid's Tale.”

    It offers a good selection of current TV shows and its ad-supported tier is cheaper than both Netflix and Amazon Prime Video. You will be able to watch most shows from networks like ABC and Fox, and cable channels like FXX, FXM, HGTV, and more.

    The service has a Limited Commercials plan for $7.99 a month, or you can upgrade to their No Ads plan for $14.99 a month. For $69.99 a month, you can get Hulu Live TV from major cable channels, live locals and regional sports networks.


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