Why is Disney+ Bringing Hulu Into Its Flagship App?

Ariel Ariel

This is a single insight from This Week in Apps - Time for Something New. Check out the full article for more insights.

Disney announced this week that it'll bring content from Hulu into the flagship Disney+ app later this year.

On the surface, this seems like a negligible change. Disney already bundles Disney+ and Hulu subscriptions and has been doing that for quite some time. But when we focus on the mobile side it really isn't.

This consolidation, especially after HBO Max announced a similar consolidation with Discovery+, means the equation for success has changed for streaming platforms.

The pandemic made it clear that streaming platforms can become very successful if they have the right content. That's why HBO and Disney brought their best movies to streaming as quickly as possible, and that's what turned them into the top-grossing apps in the US.

But content isn't easy, and both slowed down a bit. And as the content slowed so did the downloads.

This year alone, Disney+'s downloads are down 28% from a little over 9M to under 7M, according to our estimates. HBO Max is down even more...

But revenue isn't, and that's the key to all of this.

According to our estimates, Disney+'s App Store revenue grew nearly 4x since 2020. In more absolute terms, the streamer ended April with $72M in net revenue from the App Store, its biggest month of revenue to date! And that's net meaning what Disney gets to keep after giving Apple its share.

Hulu's revenue growth isn't far behind, it grew to $28M as of April, a 2.5x increase when compared to January of 2020.

Fewer downloads yet more revenue. Both services have increased their prices over time, but that's not it. The increase in revenue comes directly from the services learning how to monetize on mobile, and that's the golden ticket.

Now all they need is more downloads to monetize, which is what Disney hopes will happen when it brings Hulu's catalog, including TV shows, which Disney+ doesn't have, into the flagship app, making it a true destination for everyone and not just hardcore Disney fans.

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All figures included in this report are estimated. Unless specified otherwise, estimated revenue is always net, meaning it's the amount the developer earned after Apple and Google took their fee.

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