Hulu on Disney+ Launches Out of Beta With Marketing Push to Grow Subscribers

Hulu is officially on Disney+.

Disney says that Hulu on Disney+ is now live and out of beta, giving subscribers to both services (or to the Disney bundle) access to content in one place.

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“Its whole goal is to make happier subscribers and healthier subscribers, provide them convenience, deeper engagement, better retention and increase the value of the Disney bundle for our subscribers,” says Joe Earley, president of direct-to-consumer for Disney Entertainment.

Hulu content first became available on Disney+ in beta form late last year, but now the service is fully integrated, with executives touting a slew of technical moves needed to enable the move.

“This launch really represents the most extensive technical advancement to Disney+ and our entire streaming platform since we launched Disney+ over four years ago,” adds Aaron LaBerge, president & CTO for Disney Entertainment & ESPN, noting that the tech will also be used to help launch ESPN’s flagship streaming product once it is ready for market. “Our teams have had to reimagine and redesign many core aspects of our platform. We completely redefined the way that we manage our video assets, integrating our libraries and improving quality. We shipped an entirely new content management system that delivers capabilities for editorial and programming teams to merchandise and promote our content with much more flexibility.”

For subscribers to both Disney+ and Hulu (whether through a bundle or individually but with the same email address) Hulu content and a new Hulu tile will automatically populate, with all Hulu shows now fully baked into the system.

For Disney+ subscribers that do not subscribe to Hulu, the service will still allow users to search for Hulu shows, and will also feature tiles encouraging users to upgrade to a bundle. If a user clicks on a Hulu show and decides to subscribe, they will be able to watch it immediately.

“We started out primarily focusing on the bundled subscribers and how this is going to increase their engagement and reduce the friction for them,” Earley says. “But as you saw, there are also three in-app entry points for those stand-alone Disney+ subscribers who want to upgrade to the bundle so that they can unlock all of this together.”

“We’ve improved personalization throughout the entire app, which of course now includes Hulu content throughout,” LaBarge adds. “Content recommendations are going to be more relevant based on your usage and more real time and all of that is going to be backed by experimentation capabilities that are really going to allow us to be much more data driven not only in how we market but how we promote content.”

Disney is going to start rolling out a marketing campaign for the combined app, building off of the campaign it kicked off during the Super Bowl. In “phase three,” which begins today, Hulu shows like Family Guy and The Bear will be added to the current Disney+ campaign that has been in the market for the past few months.

The first commercial for the combined offering is also debuting today:

In addition, the company has changed the Disney+ app logo to combine Hulu’s green color with Disney+ blue.

Earley says that one out of every three eligible subscribers has watched content from both services in the beta, and that it has proven to be a boon for engagement.

“As long as we’re increasing the engagement, it’s a win regardless of where it happens,” he says.

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