Hulu and Disney+ Content to Be Combined In One App, Services to Stay Separate ↗

By Caitlin Huston at The Hollywood Reporter:

Disney will be combining Hulu content with Disney+ content into one app, CEO Bob Iger announced Wednesday.

The company will begin to roll out the new app by the end of the calendar year.

This news has been written on the wall since Disney+ debuted in 2019. Disney owns two-thirds of Hulu, so why wouldn’t they consolidate into a single app? Less overhead, no split focus, and potential subscriber boosting for their namesake app sound like good reasons to do something.

Whether this means I’ll be able to drop my Hulu subscription in the future remains to be seen. There’s also still the question of Hulu’s live tv offering up in the air. I wouldn’t expect to see that on Disney+. What I would expect is for Hulu to disappear entirely sometime in the future.

In related news from Jill Goldsmith at Deadline: Disney Pulling Some Content Off Streaming In Strategic Rethink.

Disney will be yanking content from streaming as it rethinks its costs and strategy […]

Seems they’re following in the footsteps of Warner Bros. Discovery’s decision to remove loads of content from HBO Max in the name of cost-cutting. At one point, I believed that the originals produced by the various streaming companies were destined to live on their respective services forever. Why would they remove their own content? Surely, it couldn’t cost them much to keep it up; licensing fees would be nonexistent. I thought it would be nothing but upside.

That evergreen world doesn’t exist anymore. These billion-dollar media giants are just so strapped for cash that the mere suggestion of continuing to pay for their less-than-successful content is laughable. No better than a slap in the face! A company like Disney has to regularly cull this content from their service or they could face extinction in… [checks notes] Oh, that’s right, Disney will never die. They’ll never face any meaningful hardship whatsoever no matter what their subscriber numbers are or how many infantile governors cross their paths. They could lose every one of their streaming subscribers tomorrow and still have billions in the bank.

I wouldn’t explicitly condone finding copies of those excised movies and tv shows that have conveniently “fallen off the back of a truck,” but I wouldn’t discourage it either. These days, obtaining those copies and storing them on drives you own may be the only way to ensure you always have access to the stuff you want to watch.

Nothing wrong with wresting some control back from the mercurial whims of wickedly wealthy companies who always complain about not having enough money.