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Disney and WBD launch streaming bundle combining Disney+, Hulu and Max

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Posted at 4:59 PM, May 12, 2024
and last updated 2024-05-12 16:59:03-04

(CNN) — Seeking further scale in the streaming business, Disney and Warner Bros. Discovery announced on Wednesday plans for a cross-studio bundle that would combine Disney+ and Disney’s Hulu with Warner Bros.’ Max, which includes an array of programming from that studio and its premium service, HBO.

Among other things, the collaborative effort would put the two major comic-book rivals, Disney’s Marvel and Warner Bros.’ DC, together in a cooperative venture. (Warner Bros. Discovery is also the parent of CNN.)

The bundle will be available on both an ad-free and ad-supported basis. In announcing the deal, the two companies asserted that the arrangement would provide consumers with “the greatest collection of entertainment for the best value in streaming.” Further details, including pricing, would be forthcoming, the companies said.

Although Disney and Warner Bros. have been among the leaders in attracting subscribers to their streaming services, profitability has been elusive as studios compete with Netflix and other rivals, spending heavily on programming in seeking to gain and retain them.

The easiest way to boost revenue is to raise prices, but that also risks causing more people to cancel their subscriptions.

The lowest priced Max plan is currently $9.99 a month with advertisements, Disney+ with Hulu is also offered with ads for $9.99 a month.

Disney recently added Hulu, which offers more adult-oriented lineup of programming, as a companion to Disney+, noting that Warner Bros. would introduce even more choices from their respective libraries.

Disney+ has more than 100 million subscribers, while Hulu reaches another 50 million. Including the linear version of HBO, Max reaches more than 97 million homes.

“On the heels of the very successful launch of Hulu on Disney+, this new bundle with Max will offer subscribers even more choice and value,” Joe Earley, president of direct-to-consumer for Disney, said. “This incredible new partnership puts subscribers first, giving them access to blockbuster films, originals, and three massive libraries featuring the very best brands and entertainment in streaming today.”