A combined Disney+ and Hulu app is set to launch in its beta form this December, Disney CEO Bob Iger announced Wednesday.
“We feel great about how the combination gives us an ability to essentially lower customer acquisition costs, reduce marketing, hopefully reduce churn and, most importantly, create more engagement,” Iger said while appearing on CNBC.
The combined app, which will be available to bundle subscribers, is estimated to officially launch in late March.
The Disney boss noted the combination is “great for advertisers,” pointing to advertiser-supported subscriptions that “are actually quite a bargain.”
A December launch date is on par with the entertainment giant’s previous estimation that the combined app would be on the market by the end of 2023, per Iger’s remarks during Disney’s second-quarter earnings call in May.
The announcement comes as Disney releases its fourth quarter earnings report, which revealed that Disney+ added almost 7 million subscribers for a total of 112.6 million subscribers, which includes 46.5 million domestic subscribers and 66.1 million international subscribers. On the other hand, subscribers for Disney+ Hotstar, the India equivalent of Disney+, fell 7% year over year to 37.6 million subscribers.
While the app is slated to offer content from across Disney+ and Hulu, Disney will continue offering 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 streamline content, resulting in greater audience engagement and ultimately leading to a more unified streaming experience,” Iger said in May.
At the time, Iger also spotlighted the “advertising potential” of the new service, noting that the company is “focused on the growth opportunity in programmatic advertising, and we are well positioned to scale as the market improves and audiences continue to grow.”
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