Disney+ Coming, ESPN+ Clears 1 Million Subs, and Other SVOD Growth

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By Michael Inouye | 4Q 2018 | IN-5335


Disney Expanding Its DTC Strategy


Disney recently provided some additional details regarding its planned Over-the-Top (OTT) service, first and foremost giving it a name: Disney+. The “+” moniker follows a similar naming convention Disney used for its OTT ESPN service (ESPN+), creating some cohesion among the company’s growing OTT presence, at least outside of Hulu. Speaking of which, Hulu presents an interesting wrinkle, now that one company (after Disney finalized its acquisition of 21st Century Fox) will have a controlling interest in the service (60%). While some pundits have suggested that Disney would have been better served investing in Hulu instead of launching Disney+, there is likely room for both, as the latter is expected to offer more family- and children-friendly content, while Hulu extends to a wider audience.

Disney has stated it will remain fiscally responsible to the other shareholders (30% Comcast, 10% AT&T), but plans call for increasing investment in programming (including originals). In this ecosystem, Disney+ will look more like a complementary service …

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