Business and Technology

Disney and Warner to bundle streaming services

Walt Disney and Warner Bros Discovery say they will start to offer a bundle of the Disney+, Hulu and Max streaming services to customers in the US this summer. The new package will be available to customers on all three streaming platforms.

The media giants said they will offer plans with and without adverts but did not reveal how much they will charge customers. The move comes as Disney and Warner Bros face competition from rivals, including Netflix and Amazon Prime Video.

“This new offering… will help drive incremental subscribers and much stronger retention,” Warner Bros Discovery executive JB Perrette said in a statement. The two media companies said they will reveal more details about the plans in the coming weeks.

As audiences move away from traditional TV, companies like Disney and Warner Bros are under pressure to attract more subscribers to their streaming services. The companies will be hoping that their combined offering will complement each other.

Disney+ is best known for its family-friendly shows and films, while Warner’s Max is home to HBO and its more adult-focussed content In recent years, streaming companies have been joining forces and offering combinations of their services.

In February, Walt Disney’s ESPN, Fox Corp and Warner Bros Discovery announced a new sports platform to be launched in the autumn.

Between them they own a wide range of portfolios of sports rights including those for the FIFA World Cup, Formula 1, NFL, NBA and Major League Baseball.

In its quarterly financial results released on Tuesday, Disney said that Disney+ had gained more than six million subscribers globally between January and March, excluding India. The streaming service now has more than 117 million subscribers.

The increase is important for a service that has seen growth flag in recent months but is viewed as critical to Disney’s future. Disney also told investors that a planned password crackdown, which will start in the summer, should help drive up subscriber numbers.

The increasingly crowded streaming market has put off some customers who have complained about having to sign up to multiple services. Bundles can address this issue by simplifying payment and potentially lowering the cost to users.

Source: SABC

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