Disney might soon own Hulu too as Comcast considers selling its stake in the streaming service to the Mouse House. The business of subscription streaming services seems to shift and change with every passing day as of late. At present, there’s no denying that even this early on into the growing market, it’s becoming apparent who some of the biggest players are going to be.
Though Netflix has long been the go-to favorite for many customers, even the stability they’ve acquired in the years since shifting from a mail order DVD format to streaming directly into customer’s homes now seems vulnerable. Some of this is due in part to the fact that several of Netflix’s most popular licensed titles are increasingly looking as though they may be subject to removal, but the ever-expanding growth of Disney as well as the upcoming launch of their streaming service Disney+ is looking as though it will have considerable weight behind it. Most recently, Disney has acquired Fox assets and found itself a majority stakeholder in Hulu after AT&T WarnerMedia decided to pull the plug on their time with the company.
After gaining such an advantageous position with Hulu, Disney is now reportedly looking to go the full distance and acquire complete ownership over the service. According to Variety, Comcast - who currently own 30 percent of Hulu through NBCUniversal - are in talks with Disney about the possibility of reaching a deal. As of this writing, the involved parties are being quite tight-lipped with regard to further information on when or even if this deal will be made.
What is known about Disney, Comcast and Hulu, however, is that Disney would like very much to gain full ownership over the service, though Comcast officials seem to be downplaying the immediate possibility of that occurring. Anonymous sources have said that Comcast is still in the process of “weighing out the pros and cons” of such a deal, while NBCUniversal CEO Steve Burke recently told Variety that Disney wants to buy out Comcast, but maintained he doesn’t see a deal happening in the near term. For its part, Disney is already looking at expanding Hulu on an international level - the service is currently only available in the US and Japan - something that should happen in the near future if Hulu hopes to make up for its ongoing losses in profit. Disney has already earmarked 2023 or 2024 as the point in time when Hulu is expected to achieve profitability, as the service has spent the last two years losing profits in a continued attempt to build up its programming and technology.
At this point, it’s hard to imagine Disney not succeeding in acquiring Hulu. With its majority share in the service, Disney hasn’t gotten to where it currently is by not taking action when the odds favor them. If a deal does go through, it will mark another chapter in the growing Disney saga, create more competition in the streaming market and secure the Mouse House as one of the single most dominant forces in global entertainment. But will the future of streaming be Disney? That’s a question that can only be answered when Disney+ arrives later this fall.