Disney and Hulu's Upcoming Merger Will Create a Streaming Giant

Ariel Ariel
11/17/23

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Disney+ and Hulu are planning to merge into a single streaming service and that's a really big deal because Hulu, which started streaming before streaming was cool, is a pretty decent money-maker.

This merger comes just a few months after the other mega streamer, HBO, merged its streaming service Max with discovery+.

Why is Disney+ merging with Hulu and how will the team up perform against the new Max?

There's a pretty easy way to tell. It's all about the money!

Disney+ is one of the highest-earning streaming apps in the world. Our estimates show that in January, Disney+ brought in $47M of net revenue.

But, it'd go on to earn less and less every single month this year with the single exception of March, where revenue rose a tiny bit up to $48M, according to our estimates. And this is not including store fees.

September was the lowest month of revenue with $36M, and while October's revenue grew a bit to $39M, that's still significantly lower than January. A decrease of 17% from January.

It's clear that Disney+ can't continue to grow on its own and it wants something new. Content is King, so more content should help with growth. That's pretty much the same reason HBO Max merged with discovery+ back in May.

That merger didn't really increase revenue, but Hulu isn't discovery+.

Hulu started this year with $28M of net revenue, according to our estimates. Although revenue fluctuated a bit, Hulu brought in $33M of net revenue in October. That's a healthy increase of 18% from January.

See where I'm going with this?

Max, HBO's merger with discovery+, earned $50M in October, according to our estimates. That's lower than where it started back in June, with $59M, but still higher than Disney+ and Hulu.

The way Disney+ is merging with Hulu is purely technical, which means viewers will still need to pay for both services separately but through a single app.

Looking at the numbers, a Hulisney/Disnulu merger would easily out-earn Max instantly. In October, our estimates show the pair earned a combined $72M, and that's net which means what Disney keeps after store fees.

But like Disney, the trend this year isn't great.

I think that will change once a single app has both because Hulu is one of the most consistent TV streamers out there. With Hulu, Disney+ will become the destination for an amazing amount of content that goes beyond the Disney brand. I'm bullish on this combo.

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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.

Tagged: #streaming

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