quarta-feira, 10 de maio de 2023

Disney+ And Hulu Programming To Be Combined Into One App By Year’s End, Bob Iger Says

Disney will roll out a single streaming app with programming from Hulu and Disney+ by the end of this year.

CEO Bob Iger announced the move during the company’s fiscal second quarter earnings call, describing it as a “logical progression of our DTC offerings.” Disney+, Hulu and ESPN+ will continue to be available as stand-alone services, he noted. The three have been offered as a discount-priced bundle since 2020, with the combo helping to drive subscriber acquisition across all of the services.

Iger also said the company would be “rationalizing” the volume and investment in streaming content, though he didn’t offer specific details. Pricing, he said, would also be increasing along with the new consolidation plan. CFO Christine McCarthy said the company would take a $1.5 billion to $1.8 billion impairment charge related to content cuts and other streamlining in the company’s streaming operation.

The advertising opportunity of the single app is “exciting,” Iger said, as 40% of the company’s domestic ad units are addressable. That means they can target individual viewers via a range of traits as opposed to traditional “spray-and-pray” TV advertising. Disney has attracted 5,000 total advertisers, helped by the new horizons of streaming, Iger said. The single app, he said, will bring “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.”

Since Disney took operational control of Hulu in 2019, speculation has been growing about a newly consolidated structure for streaming.

Hulu is approaching a crossroads in early 2024. That’s when a put/call option kicks in for Disney and Comcast, which still owns one-third of Hulu. Disney would need to pay Comcast at least $9 billion to buy out that one-third stake, with the exact valuation to be determined by an arbitrator. The floor amount of $27 billion for all of Hulu was stipulated in the original agreement in 2019, which followed the close of Disney’s $71.3 billion acquisition of most of 21st Century Fox, an original stakeholder in Hulu.

The “one app” news came after the company reported solid results for its fiscal second quarter, which ended April 1. Streaming losses moderated in the quarter, but a strong showing by theme parks relative to the Covid-hobbled 2022 quarter powered the overall numbers, which met or slightly exceeded Wall Street expectations.

“We are confident we are on the right path toward streaming profitability,” Iger said.

Source: Deadline

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