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To Hulu or Not to Hulu

Gettyimages | Chesnot
By J. Atkin

It's already November and Apple TV Plus has launched with its original programming including, "The Morning Show", "Dickinson", and "See". Disney Plus is due to launch next week with a full slate of classic Disney films, Marvel movies, kid-friendly shows, and new programs like the "Star Wars" inspired, "The Mandalorian". But I'm already invested in streaming services, you say. I pay each month for Hulu. Is it still worth it? What am I getting now? Really?

This question, and Hulu specifically, is a very singular situation. Did you know that Disney also, for all intents and purposes, owns Hulu? Does that mean it will disappear? That Hulu will fold soon and disappear under the intense and ever-expanding umbrella of the Disney empire? The short and most recent answer is: no.

This week Disney actually took the time to clarify a little bit about how they plan to use Hulu, and how its programming will differ from that on the Disney Plus platform. Fans of the FX Network and its original shows will definitely want to keep their Hulu subscriptions and those FX fans who do not already use Hulu may find that it is time to start.

All FX programming will be moved to Hulu this coming March. Like many broadcast network shows all-new episodes from FX will premiere on Hulu the day after they air on the network. However, a large amount of FX original programming will also begin to air exclusively on Hulu. Four previously announced new FX original shows will air exclusively on Hulu. Those shows include: “Devs” from “Ex Machina” director Alex Garland; “Mrs. America” starring Cate Blanchett; “The Old Man” starring Jeff Bridges; and “A Teacher” starring Kate Mara.

This plan highlights what might be a broader strategy as Disney moves forward with streaming. While Disney Plus will include all kid-friendly and family-style programs, Hulu may work as a platform where Disney can produce and send its more mature content. Already home to dark and political shows like, "The Handmaid's Tale," Hulu has never been the kiddy table of streaming platforms.

This division of content also starts to make the Disney Plus television bundle ($12.99 per month for Disney+, ESPN+, and Hulu with ads) make sense for families. Disney Plus before kids bedtime and Hulu when parents need to wind down. We will have to wait to see who wants to, and is able, to invest in all the new streaming options, but Disney is doing its best to make all its options appealing across the board.

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