The one good thing that the pandemic has done to us, to help us binge on much more content than we ever did! Which directly means content creators and streaming platforms had a boon in disguise amidst the pandemic. Some of the biggest names in the market are Netflix and Amazon, and a comparatively newer Disney+. In December 2017, Disney announced that they would acquire 21st Century Fox, including its 30% stake in Hulu, in a sale completed on March 20, 2019. The deal resulted in Disney having a controlling 60% interest in Hulu. But Hulu still does not still seems to drive in much profit from the deal as because the main streamer that is, Disney+ is driving away with much audience with un-ignorable and long awaited releases such as ‘Hamilton’ and Beyonce’s Black is King.
Former Disney CEO Bob Iger touted the potential of Hulu, and planned to infuse it with new original programming and launch the service internationally. He also liked the service’s appeal to young adults, which advertisers favor.
However, more than a year after the Fox acquisition, Hulu is starting to look forgotten again like it used to happen earlier. In its recent earnings call, Disney announced that it would launch an international streaming service under Star, an Indian TV brand it acquired in the Fox deal, rather than Hulu. And Hulu’s growth has been underwhelming during the pandemic, especially considering we’re in a streaming boom as well as a terrible rat race.The streaming service, which is only available in the U.S., added 5.1 million subscribers in the first half of the year, growing from 30.4 million to 35.5 million. That figure includes ad and ad-free tiers of Hulu, as well as subscribers to Disney’s recently launched bundle of Disney+, ESPN+, and Hulu, and Live TV packages that come with Hulu. It’s not necessarily bad .
But keeping in mind the popularity of star in India, Disney is tilted more toward Star now and not Hulu. Now, this certainly does not mean, Hulu has not got a good marketing plan or good shows. It has amazing shows like ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ and has got ad generation revenue which is twice any other streaming site, not even Disney makes such revenue out of ads like Hulu does. At the 69th Primetime Emmy Awards, Hulu earned a total of 8 awards for The Handmaid’s Tale and became the first streaming service to win Outstanding Drama Series. The Handmaid’s Tale also received Emmys for Outstanding Directing, Outstanding Writing, Outstanding Cinematography, and Outstanding Production Design. It is also very affordable, as for the Hulu with ads plan and the Hulu with no ads plan, the service gives you a free Hulu trial for 30 days and if you don’t cancel the service before the free trial ends, you will be charged $5.99 a month for the Hulu with ads plan, or $11.99 a month for Hulu with no ads plan which is not a bad deal at all.
However Disney had said in the second week of May, 2019 that Comcast, which owns a third of Hulu, may sell its stake starting in 2024 for a minimum of $5.8 billion, which will give Disney total control of Hulu to it, but with current speculations, nothing can be said for sure.
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