Friday, April 12, 2019

Disney considers overseas push for Hulu after taking control | Advertising Age

Hulu, the streaming TV service now majority-owned by Walt Disney Co., may finally be heading overseas.

Disney is evaluating markets outside the U.S. for the online platform, executives said at the entertainment giant’s investor day on Thursday. The company also sees its upcoming Disney+ streaming service as an international product “with universal appeal.” And Disney is planning a Latin American launch for its ESPN+ service.

A Hulu price cut, which lowered its entry-level, ad-supported version by 25 percent to $6 a month, also helped bring a surge of customers, Disney said. Hulu expects to double its ad revenue over the next few years.

“Hulu is doing just great,” said Kevin Mayer, chairman of Disney’s direct-to-consumer and international operations. “We are really pleased.”

The price cut, which took effect in February, contrasted with an increase at Netflix, the No. 1 paid streaming service. The next step may be taking Hulu overseas.

Hulu, based in Los Angeles, was previously co-owned by Disney, 21st Century Fox, Comcast and AT&T. When Disney spent $71 billion to acquire Fox’s entertainment businesses in March, it gained majority control. Disney CEO Bob Iger has said he’s interested in acquiring the rest.

—Bloomberg News


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