Not THAT kind of adult content! Disney+ has been a major success and the life-saving income stream Disney needed in the face of the global closedown. Their subscriber numbers are through the roof. However this is without a huge amount of new content. The Mandalorian is a runaway success in the streaming ratings but the entire Marvel slate was delayed a full year. Imagine where they will be when that comes on stream?
Another untapped driver of new subscribers would be something for the grown-ups. Between old labels, former partners and historic distribution deals such as Hollywood Pictures (The Rock, Sixth Sense) or Buena Vista (Con-Air) and their recent acquisition of Fox (Alien, Predator) it is not as if they are short of content. Now chatter about an adult section of Disney+ is intensifying. The key to all this? Hulu.
Collider is reporting that multiple Hulu executives have been leaving or are being let go ready for a major shake up that could see the Hulu service, with 36 million subscribers, folded completely into Disney+ with 74 million subscribers. Widening the reach of Disney+ and removing the self-imposed family filter would make investors very excited.
It would also then give Disney a full spectrum platform in response to Warner Bros. maneuvering with HBO Max, and in anticipation of a difficult year ahead in the world of movie theaters. They already have a route to market in Disney+. This move would simply be taking the shackles off as it’s currently weighed down by Disney’s own brand controls around the family-first philosophy.
Are the radical changes in the world of entertainment brought on by COVID-19 going to finally force Disney to grow up? There is a Disney investor conference this coming week. Watch this space.