Hulu Will Offer Disney+ As An Add-On – Here's What That Means For Current Subscribers [TCA 2019]

During his opening remarks to the Television Critics Association, Hulu's SVP of Originals Craig Erwich dropped a pretty significant piece of information in a passing comment about subscribers. He attributed Hulu's growth in subscribers to the quality of Hulu's offerings, including add-ons like Live TV and premium services that include HBO andCBS All Access. And soon, Disney+.This was previously announced on Disney Investor Day, but it feels like something that should be a bigger talking point. Erwich didn't take questions to follow up about it, but here's what we do know, along with the questions we still have.

Disney Owns Hulu

Disney always had a stake in Hulu, but when they bought 20th Century Fox, they acquired a majority stake. Hulu is utilizing Disney properties like Marvel to create new shows. It makes sense that they would use Hulu to promote their new streaming service, although there is already so much anticipation for Disney+ with its Marvel and Star Wars shows that they don't need any help.

How Add-Ons Work at Hulu

Here's the thing about Hulu add-ons: if you already subscribe to HBO or CBS All Access, you can't access those subscriptions through Hulu. So if you want to watch Star Trek: Discovery through Hulu, you have to create a new subscription plan through your Hulu account. So when Disney+ arrives, you're going to want to decide how you want to access it. Will you want a standalone Disney+ subscription, or will you want it through Hulu? If you already have Hulu, it may be easier to keep all your channels in one place. If you don't have Hulu, it won't matter.

This Raises More Questions

Since Disney has a large stake in Hulu, maybe they'll make add-ons work differently. Since the money all goes to the same place, would they waive an additional fee for Disney+ subscribers to connect through Hulu? That would certainly help for app support, as different tablets and streaming platforms have different apps. Hulu is pretty omnipresent, but there's often certain apps or services that are not available on Roku or Amazon Fire TV Sticks.As a new service, Disney+ surely won't be on every system when it launches. Those things always take time, so maybe it will be beneficial to access it through Hulu.The next big questions is cost. Will the Hulu add-on cost the same as the standalone service? Would Disney offer subscribers a discount, even a dollar a month, to add Disney+ to Hulu rather than on its own? I don't see why they would. They have a service everyone wants to watch. They can ask for all the money in the world.