Hulu Missing Piece of Disney’s Streaming Strategy, Says Ampere

Says Disney can reinvent the TV channel family for the streaming generation.
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LONDON—Disney may have figured out how to maximize its streaming services so it becomes a top choice for the streaming generation according to insight from Ampere Analysis.

Hulu Plus subscribers will still be able to watch new episodes online soon after they are broadcast.

On Tuesday, Disney announced that it had assumed full operational control of the streaming service Hulu. This, according to Disney Chairman and CEO Bob Iger in a speech after the announcement, represents the “third prong” of Disney’s streaming strategy, along with its ESPN+ and upcoming Disney+ streaming services. Ampere agrees, calling Hulu the “missing piece” in creating a streaming bundle that could rival Netflix and Amazon.

Even as studios begin to take back their own content from third-party streaming services like Netflix, Amazon and Hulu, the amount of content available through those platforms far exceeds what other SVOD platforms are able to offer, including what Disney hopes to provide with Disney+. However, with the acquisition of Hulu and the Disney/Fox merger, Ampere believes that not only can Disney match or perhaps surpass Netflix and Amazon, but it also allows Disney to build a “channel family” for the streaming generation.

Disney can offer a streaming bundle that combines some combination of Disney+, Hulu and ESPN+, and it can be flexible with its pricing to maximize the possible revenue; Disney has already announced that Disney+ will be available for $6.99/month, lower than that of Netflix.

“With full operational control of Hulu, Disney’s streaming jigsaw puzzle is complete,” said Guy Bisson, research director at Ampere Analysis. “The concept of building a family of services to capture audience in a fragmented and competitive world is not new—it was first explored when digital TV came along in the early 1990s—Disney now needs to update that model for the 21st century and Hulu is the key to doing that.”