Hulu is about to be fully owned by Disney as the major Hollywood studio is officially acquiring the remaining shares of the streaming provider. The age of streaming continues to evolve as studios are constantly competing to drive more subscribers to their respective platforms. With Disney+ adding new shows and movies, it continues to be one of the more dominating platforms, while the studio has also held shares in Hulu for a number of years.
However, it turns out Hulu will have one full owner in the foreseeable future. According to Deadline, Disney is officially set to acquire the remaining 33% stake in Hulu for $8.61 billion dollars. This brings an end to Disney and Comcast’s agreement that went into effect back in 2019 and comes after Comcast CEO Brian Roberts revealed in September that he and Disney CEO Bob Iger were having discussions about a potential sale.
While this could lead to changes in subscription plans and content libraries, the biggest question that currently stands unanswered is if Hulu will be merged into Disney+. Once Hulu is under its full control, it wouldn’t be shocking if Disney would rather have the two services be combined, as Hulu and Disney+ offer similar types of content. Unless Disney is planning on making significant changes to Hulu where it would benefit the studio in having the service exist on its own, combining it with Disney+ would be the logical choice.
It’s similar to when Warner Bros. Discovery was looking at folding in HBO Max and Discovery+, with the service now operating as Max. The benefit that Disney has with merging Hulu and Disney+, compared to when Discovery+ and HBO Max were being eyed to combine, is that Hulu has more desirable content that could lead to an increase in subscribers for Disney+. For example, Hulu has titles such as Only Murders in the Building, The Bear, and Solar Opposites.
It will obviously be quite a while until Disney+’s full acquisition of Hulu is completed, as it will likely go into effect in 2024. What will be interesting to follow is how Disney plans to use Hulu when it comes to the many IPs that they are in control of, such as the Marvel Cinematic Universe and Star Wars. For now, time will tell if Disney+ will merge with Hulu, or if the latter will remain as its own streaming service.