Disney CEO Bob Iger hasn’t ruled out that the company could sell its controlling stake in Hulu while focusing on streaming revenue rather than subscriber growth.
During its Q1 2023 call with investors on February 8th, Disney reported the first subscriber loss of its flagship streaming platform Disney+ of 2.4 million subscribers. The company revealed it was responding by cutting $3 billion in content costs, with Iger saying Disney “will take a very hard look at the cost of everything we make across television and film.”
While appearing on CNBC’s Squawk on the Street the following day, Iger told host David Faber that Disney’s strategy for making streaming “a growth business” by the end of 2024 will be focusing on revenue rather than subscriber numbers. Disney has the option to buy out Comcast’s 33% stake in Hulu as early as January 2024.
Suggesting Hulu’s future is still yet to be decided, Iger said the streamer “is a very successful platform, and I think a good consumer proposition. But everything’s on the table right now.” He added, “I’m not gonna speculate about whether we’re a buyer or seller of it.”
Disney+’s loss in subscribers comes after bumping up the monthly price of what is now called its Premium plan by $3 to $10.99 per month with the launch of a new ad-supported tier in December.
Overall, Disney plans to cut a total of $5.5 billion in costs. The company also said it would be eliminating 7,000 jobs as part of a reorganization creating three divisions: Disney Entertainment, ESPN, and a Parks, Experiences, and Products unit.