Disney is launching its own standalone streaming service next year. What does that mean for Hulu? According to Disney chief Bob Iger, it is going to reap the benefits of its merger with 21st Century Fox.
He addressed questions about Hulu’s future during Disney’s recent investors’ earnings call. He has plans for expanding internationally while building up Hulu’s original content slate. The company could see a much larger stake in Hulu following the company’s acquisition of Fox. Iger told investors the company has no plans to abandon ship, but wants to expand Hulu’s presence as a streaming service.
“Given the success of Hulu so far in terms of subscriber growth and the relative brand strength and other things too like demographics, we think there’s an opportunity to increase investment in Hulu notably on the programming side,” Iger said.
Going international is the key
Part of those expansion plans means making Hulu available in international markets. Hulu’s biggest competitor, Netflix, has seen immense growth, thanks to its international market. Iger’s plan to offer Hulu’s content to an international audience and build upon series from FX and Fox. It’s unclear if it will follow in Netflix’s footsteps. Invest in more foreign original series for its international subscribers. Iger said those conversations will happen once the company takes majority control of Hulu.
“After the deal closes and after we have the 60 percent ownership, we’ll meet with the Hulu management team and the board, and discuss what the opportunities are in terms of both global growth and investing more in content,” Iger said. “But that’s something that we have to do after the deal closes.”
That means more original content for international foreign countries could be on the way. But, it will not happen for some time. Disney’s acquisition of Fox is expected to be completed in 2019.