Disney to hold a tighter grip on Hulu

Hulu CEO Randy Freer
An era is about to end, as The Walt Disney Company has announced that Hulu chief executive officer Randy Freer would be stepping down in the coming weeks. This news comes as The House of Mouse intends to strengthen its hold on Hulu, after the successful launch of Disney+ in November 2019 to merge its streaming services in a single discounted bundle. After Freer’s departure, people under him would report to Disney managers. In addition to that, NFL star Tom Brady featured in the latest video at their  Super Bowl spot on Sunday saying: “It’s time to say goodbye to TV as you know it.” Hulu’s domestic subscriptions reached a high in the final two months of 2019, fueled by a package that included both Disney+ and ESPN+ for a total of $13 a month. Disney’s bundling of the three services accounted for a significant share of Hulu sign-ups in 2019, as per Antenna Analytics, a research firm that measures subscriber data for streaming companies. “It’s been on an awesome growth trajectory,” said Antenna chief executive officer Rameez Tase. This helped Hulu grow twice as fast as its competitor Netflix in the U.S. last year, with the service easily surpassing 30 million total subscribers according to reports. In the last publicly shared numbers, Disney said Hulu had 28.5 million customers at the end of September. Disney is also going to give investors an update on the performance of its streaming efforts today, 4 February, about its first quarterly report since Disney+ family-focused service became available to the people. Disney CEO Bob Iger will also tout the growth of that service and the popular Baby Yoda character it has spawned, he will also update investors on Hulu. Hulu is a key part of Iger’s three bundle approach to streaming, providing more grown-up fare to complement Disney’s family and sports offerings. In March, Hulu will add hit shows from the catalog of Disney’s FX Networks and release original series produced by that cable TV outlet. At the same time, the service is paring what it buys from outside the Disney family.