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Hulu content is coming to Disney+ in a single app, with a higher ad-free price

The complicated scheme that is the Disney family of streaming services is going to get a little more complicated. Disney CEO Bob Iger, during the company’s second-quarter earnings call, announced that Disney is going to create a “one-app experience” in the U.S., bringing Hulu content into the main Disney+ app.

It’s also going to increase the price of its ad-free plan, which currently stands at $11 a month.

“While we continue to offer Disney+, Hulu, and ESPN+ as standalone options, this is a logical progression of our [direct-to-consumer] offerings that will provide greater opportunities for advertisers while giving bundle subscribers access to more robust and streamlined content, resulting in greater audience engagement, and ultimately leading to a more unified streaming experience,” Iger said.

App icons for Disney+, Hulu and ESPN.
Phil Nickinson / Digital Trends

It was the sort of earnings call news drop that was pretty regular for Iger in his previous run as Disney CEO, and something that successor Bob Chapek didn’t do in his two-year run. Iger didn’t give many details about the combined Disney+/Hulu service, only that it would be available by the end of 2023.

Iger also didn’t say how much more the ad-free tier of Disney+ would cost, only that it would “better reflect the value of our content offerings.” He followed that with: “As we look to the future, we will continue optimizing our pricing model to reward loyalty and reduce churn.”

That change comes amid the news that Disney+ lost 4 million subscribers worldwide, mostly due to declines at Disney+ Hotstar, which means India. In the U.S. and Canada, Disney+ lost 300,000 subscribers for the quarter. “Core” Disney+ subscriptions grew by about 600,000 subscribers for the quarter.

Iger noted that recent price increases to Disney+ had a minimal effect on subscribers. “There was some loss, but it was relatively small. That leads us to believe that we have pricing elasticity,” he said, adding that the company will look to steer more subscribers to the tiers with advertising because the company makes more money per user than on the ad-free tiers. While Disney lumps all of its revenue numbers together and doesn’t break out ad-supported versus ad-free numbers, the average revenue per user for Disney+ in the U.S. and Canada was $7.14 for the quarter, up from $5.59 the previous quarter.

Hulu grew by about 200,000 subscribers for the on-demand side, but lost 100,000 from Hulu With Live TV, which now stands at 4.4 million. That keeps Hulu With Live TV as the No. 2 live streaming service in the U.S.

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Phil Nickinson
Section Editor, Audio/Video
Phil spent the 2000s making newspapers with the Pensacola (Fla.) News Journal, the 2010s with Android Central and then the…
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