The next company that may combine all its streaming assets under on app could be The Walt Disney Co., if Chief Executive Bob Chapek gets his way.
Chapek made comments to that effect at Wednesday’s Goldman Sachs investor conference, according to The Wall Street Journal.
Chapek said that “there’s a little bit of consumer friction” for streaming customers who want to shift between Disney’s family-focused and franchise content in Disney+ and the general entertainment content of Hulu or sports content on the ESPN+ app.
Viewers must toggle between different apps on their smartphones, televisions and other devices to watch content on each service.
Placing all three services under one umbrella in a single app would reduce that.
The company has already experimented with such a model in Europe, where the Star streaming brand, which includes many shows that also air on Hulu, is already part of Disney+.
However, to do that Disney must take full ownership of Hulu, which is now one-third owned by Comcast Corp.’s NBCUniversal.
Under a 2019 agreement, Disney had the right to force a sale of Comcast’s stake at fair-market value, starting in 2024, with a floor valuation of $27.5 billion.
Chapek noted that sentiment has cooled significantly since the original agreement, suggesting a more modest payout.
Speaking at the same conference, Comcast Chief Executive Brian Roberts signaled Hulu would not come cheap and would seek market value for that minority stake, according to Reuters..
“Hulu’s a phenomenal business,” Roberts said, adding that it would attract multiple bidders if it were up for sale in its entirety.
Other media companies have been combining apps to simplify offerings.
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Warner Brothers Discovery said it would combine its Discovery+ service with HBO Max.
Paramount Global is considering combining its Showtime service with Paramount+, according to The Journal.
Fox News’ Chase Williams contributed to this report.