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Disney announces plans to combine Hulu and Disney+

Disney has faced rising pressure in the last few months as its streaming service Disney+ has lost an estimated four million subscribers in the first three months of the year. 

In light of this, the company has announced that it plans to combine the content from its Disney+ and Hulu streaming platforms in the US to create a single app, instead. 

Disney says that it should make its streaming business more profitable, as it would mean highly popular shows like Star Wars, Marvel, Mickey Mouse, and its collection of classic Disney movies would now be available alongside its Hulu content for what it says is a “one-app experience” 

The news has meant criticism from some users for various reasons, like the possibility that there could end up being higher subscription fees for the extra content. However, there have also been positive reactions from other fans, who have pointed out the benefits. 

Disney says that when it combines its  Disney+ and Hulu content, which also includes ESPN+, they will still be available as individual services and consumers won’t need to sign up to all three. Hulu only recently joined Disney, and it doesn’t have as many subscribers as Disney+. 

Hulu is primarily aimed at adult viewers and is still partly owned by NBCUniversal. Disney says that it’s currently in talks with NBCUniversal’s parent company, Comcast, about taking full control of the platform after the current agreement ends next year. 

Earlier this year, Disney reported losses of  $659m in the first three months of the year and had a bigger fall in the number of subscribers than it anticipated, losing around 300,000 customers in the US and Canada alone. The company’s shares were down by 5% following the news.

Disney chief executive Bob Iger said: “I can’t really say where they end up, only to say that there seems to be real value in having general entertainment combined with Disney+. If ultimately Hulu is that solution, we’re bullish about that.” 

He added that the company has improved its financial performance recently due to “strategic changes we’ve been making throughout the company to realign Disney for sustained growth and success.”

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