Disney hints at Hulu merging with Disney+ in the US

(Pocket-lint) – Disney boss Bob Chapek has suggested that Hulu and Disney+ could merge in the near future.

The company is said to be in negotiations to buy out Comcast and become the sole owner of Hulu, which could then trigger a chain of events leading to a combined app in the United States.

This would then correspond to the Disney+ app in the UK and Europe, which incorporates much of the Disney-owned mature content currently available exclusively on Hulu in the US.

Pam & Tommy, for example, is on Hulu in the US, Disney+ in the UK (as part of the Star section of the app).

Of course, Disney could decide to pull Disney+ in the US instead, or opt for something completely new: “The consumer basically dictates everything,” Chapek told the LA Times at Disney’s D23 event.

“Once we [buy out Comcast’s stake]we’ll be able to answer questions like this about whether we’re handling it more like we’ve done in Europe, where there’s a six-brand vignette on Disney+.

“Either we run it as a ‘soft bundle’, which we have now; or we move to a ‘hard bundle’ in the future.”

Certainly, changes are coming for existing Hulu subscribers, as Comcast’s content will no doubt be displaced if a Disney takeover is finalized — most likely to its own app efforts, such as Peacock and SkyShowtime. It looks like you’ll have until 2024 before that happens, though.

Written by Rik Henderson.

Valerie J. Wallis