Iger, pictured, said of the buyout and service merger that the company remains “on track to roll out a unified one-app experience domestically.” It’s likely that the new service will allow Disney to spread the Hulu brand into international markets. Currently, Hulu is not available overseas. Disney+, meanwhile, is available in 60 countries. The Variety article mentioned rumors on Wall Street that Disney purposefully hasn’t yet launched Hulu overseas in an attempt to keep its overall value down, making its buyout from Comcast that much cheaper.
Around the time this Disney+/Hulu “one app experience” was announced, in May of this year, Disney announced it had lost four million subscribers.
Iger admitted that the current streaming landscape is fraught, proving — largely via strikes and a general souring on the medium — that it’s not a wholly profitable model. In the old days of individual home video rental, a studio could gauge the popularity of its individual titles and pay royalties accordingly. With the streaming model, the studio only gets monthly subscription revenue and execs seem only to gain profits, allegedly, through shady stock valuation. Iger said back in March that streaming “is very, very tricky right now and before we make any big decisions about our level of investment, our commitment to that business, we want to understand where it could go.”
What would be the better name for a Hulu/Disney+ service: “Hulsney” or “Dislu?” It’s likely it will merely be called “Disney+” with an interior Hulu channel embedded therein. Hulu currently offers a live TV option, and no comment was made if that feature would be retained in this “one app” merger.