Earlier today, Disney officially started offering access to Hulu content inside the Disney+ app. When it comes to those signed up to Hulu Live TV, they shouldn’t expect integration of Hulu’s live TV experience to also become accessible from within the Disney+ app.
For those that missed the news, the Disney+ app now includes a dedicated Hulu section packed with a wide variety of Hulu Originals and additional programming. This is only a beta version of the integration, with the beta tag expected to be lifted in March 2024.
When that beta tag is removed, Hulu Live TV integration still won’t be available. Disney Entertainment’s President of Direct-to-Consumer, Joe Earley, has provided some additional details on the integration launch, how it is expected to work, and what won’t be changing.
In addition to confirming that the integration does not affect the standalone nature of either the Hulu or Disney+ apps, Earley also stated “Hulu + Live TV and Premium add ons will still only be available within the Hulu app, along with the full Hulu SVOD content library.”
In reality, this is not all that surprising considering the nature of live TV. While it is one thing to integrate the SVOD catalog, live TV would require a major overhaul of the Disney+ app, and that’s not what is happening here.
When the Hulu Live TV service first launched, many of the existing Hulu apps were incompatible for the same reason. While these ‘Classic’ apps, as Hulu called them, continued to live alongside the newer app (with live TV), they were eventually discontinued in late 2022, ending support for a number of older devices, including the PS3 and Apple TV (3rd Gen).
A similar move with the Disney+ app would likely eventually lead to a similar fate for a number of older devices. More importantly, it would just too greatly change the nature of the Disney+ app, making it more of a Hulu app with Disney+ content.
While Disney could always opt to include Disney+ content within the Hulu app, it remains unclear if the company wants to shift users away from its flagship app and experience.
Unless that changes, those signed up to Hulu Live TV will need to continue using both the Hulu and Disney+ apps to access all of the content included with their live TV package.
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