Disney has had huge success with their family-friendly streaming service Disney+, however, the service is indeed geared towards families and younger audiences which means other Disney-owned content can’t really appear there.
A new report from Collider claims things might be changing soon with sources suggesting that their domestic service Hulu is being prepared to be folded into Disney+, Disney is a majority owner of Hulu and plenty of people have suggested this becoming an option given that Hulu doesn’t have an international presence being a domestic service but could with some help from Disney/Disney+ take the leap into the global realm like Netflix.
Sources say Disney is looking to combine its two streaming services into a single juggernaut.
For more than a year now, there has been speculation that Disney might one day fold Hulu into its Disney+ streaming service, and sure enough, Collider is hearing that multiple Hulu executives have been leaving or let go from the streaming service in anticipation of the move, which makes a lot of sense from a business perspective.
They phrase the report’s headline as a question which could mean this might be more of a rumor circulating among reliable people they’re talking to.
If this officially happens, Disney+ adding Hulu’s content, the 20th Century Studios library and their multiple television offerings from 20th Television/FX would add a massive under served demographic to their international streaming service. Another upside is that Disney might be forced into developing mature content with the Disney branding moving into the 21st Century as the media company will need to attract adult audiences as well and move beyond children’s entertainment.
We’ve already seen this with 20th Century Studios moving forward with Predator 5 and Marvel Studios hiring screenwriters for Ryan Reynolds’ Deadpool 3, both expected to be R-rated offerings. This could be a way for Disney+ to start making mature shows using their budgets that they’ve used for Star Wars and Marvel series. I’m sure that Alien series that Noah Hawley (Fargo, Legion) wanted to make wouldn’t have as much trouble getting the budget it would need to look proper. It also gives a home to franchise films like Die Hard, Alien/Predator franchises, Logan, and Deadpool.
Netflix and Amazon’s Prime Video are doing a lot to attract older subscribers with original content which to some extent HBO/HBO Max is doing as well but like Hulu isn’t on the global stage.
Speaking of HBO Max, does this mean Disney announces this and then throws their entire 2021 slate of films on the combined service? We don’t really know if they’re going to mirror HBO Max’s new release model for 2021 and if this happens it could be another ding on the theatrical runs of future films. Alongside their potential to earn the billions at the box office that Disney is accustomed to. Hulu could be placed in an odd spot here and might see massive layoffs as jobs become redundant.