So What Is and Isn’t Available from Hulu on the Merged Disney+ App?

It’s official: Disney+ and Hulu now live together in one app. Good thing too, since Disney already spent $8.5 billion to buy out Comcast’s stake, with more on the way.

You can bet you’re going to see a whole lot more ads pushing the Disney Bundle, which is the only way to get access to Hulu content via the Disney+ app (the marketing campaign is already in full swing). Disney even changed the color of its logo to a bluish green blend to let you know the app is Disney+ AND Hulu merged together.

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The idea is that by understanding how much content is available to you without having to swap between apps to find what you want to watch, you’re less likely to cancel (or “churn,” in industry parlance). They also want more subscribers. Disney+ as of the end of 2023 has 46.1 million subscribers in the U.S. and Canada compared to Hulu’s 49.7 million. Disney doesn’t disclose how many people subscribe to the bundle.

Prices for the bundle at the ad-supported tier start at $9.99/month, and are $19.99/month to go ad-free.

Hulu as a standalone app hasn’t disappeared (Hulu is profitable after all, while Disney+ isn’t just yet), but with a Hulu tile now available on the Disney+ home page alongside those for Marvel, Star Wars, Pixar, Walt Disney Studios, and NatGeo, pretty much everything you would want to watch on Hulu is now just a click away, rather than having to log into yet another app. And Disney+ will start highlighting Hulu originals in its top banner to really drive home the point.

Key phrase though: “pretty much everything” is available, not ALL Hulu content. There are still some reasons why you’ll not want to delete that Hulu app from your Fire Stick just yet.

So What Can I Watch in the Merged App?

Hulu has over 70,000 movies and TV episodes in its library, and almost all of those are going to be available within Disney+’s Hulu tile for those who pay for the Disney+ Bundle, whether that’s Disney+ and Hulu as a duo or as a trio alongside ESPN+.

That includes Hulu originals like “Only Murders in the Building” and “The Handmaid’s Tale,” FX shows on Hulu like “The Bear,” “Shogun,” and “Welcome to Wrexham,” Searchlight movies like the Oscar-winning “Poor Things,” ABC shows like “Abbott Elementary,” and licensed content like “Grey’s Anatomy” and “9-1-1” and other movies.

Ok, So What Doesn’t It Have?

The big ones are “Modern Family” and “Love Island.” Disney declined to say more specific titles or give a number or percentage, but a “significant majority” of Hulu titles are now on Disney+.

Reddit users who poked around with the Beta rollout noted that shows like “The Steve Harvey Show” and “Murdoch Mysteries” were also unavailable at the time, though “The Steve Harvey Show” is now. The first four seasons of “Fargo” are also not available on Disney+ with Hulu, but the fifth season curiously is. And Seasons 1-34 of “The Simpsons” are all available on Disney+, to watch the most recent Season 35, you have to navigate to the Hulu tile within Disney+, where it’s listed as a separate, standalone title.

Those are still all available through Hulu as a standalone app, so you’re not totally out of luck if you want to watch the adventures of the Dunphys or your favorite trashy ITV dating show. The merged service is also currently only available in the U.S., as Disney+ uses the Star and Hotstar brands internationally for other non-Disney+ content.

For those who got to play around with the Beta version of Disney+ with Hulu these last few months, this isn’t a surprise. Those shows weren’t available then either. But Disney’s president of direct-to-consumer with Disney Entertainment, Joe Earley, told Variety engagement via the Beta version far exceeded Disney’s expectations in terms of hours viewed per subscriber and the number of titles watched.

MODERN FAMILY, (from left): Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Eric Stonestreet, Ariel Winter, Julie Bowen, 'Three Turkeys', (Season 6, ep. 608, aired Nov. 19, 2014). photo: Colleen Hayes / ©ABC / Courtesy: Everett Collection
“Modern Family”©ABC/Courtesy Everett Collection / Everett Collection

I Didn’t Realize “Modern Family” Was So Scandalous

It’s not. The reason something like “Modern Family” isn’t available isn’t because of R-rated, adult-oriented content. Disney+ already had plenty of that even before the merger. The reason is much more boring and has all to do with content licensing agreements. “Modern Family” for instance is a syndicated show, so rights would have to be re-negotiated. That’s been the case with a small percentage of Netflix shows too that aren’t available if you’re a subscriber to its ad-tier, though the streamer is working on making everything available.

A Disney rep told IndieWire more than 72 percent of Disney+ users over age 18 are set to the maximum rating for content (TV-MA) and not turning on parental filters, which means these subscribers can access the full Hulu on Disney+ catalog.

What About Hulu + Live TV?

This is the big one. Hulu + Live TV is considered an vMVPD (virtual Multichannel Video Programming Distributor), and it competes with the likes of Sling TV, Fubo, YouTube TV, and PlayStation Vue, providing access to a bundle of live TV channels you would normally get if you had cable or satellite. Buying that is a pricy monthly add-on to Hulu’s SVOD service, and Disney reported in its Q4 earnings that it has just 4.6 million subscribers out of Hulu’s 49.7 million total subs. Those subscribers though are super valuable to Disney in terms of the Average Revenue Per User (ARPU) they generate, so it’s no wonder they want to keep that service going.

Hulu + Live capabilities won’t be coming to Disney+ any time soon, IndieWire understands. But they do have the tech to make live channels work! Disney CEO Bob Iger has been vocal about some day making ESPN fully streaming, and certain ESPN networks are going to be added to subscribers in Latin America later this summer.

How Do I Swap Between Paying for Both Separately to the Bundle?

If you already subscribe to the bundle and use the same email for both apps, Hulu on Disney+ will automatically appear in the Disney+ app. If your subscriptions to both services use different email addresses, you can contact Disney+ support here to link your accounts. And if you’re paying for Hulu and Disney+ separately using the same email but want to switch to the cheaper Bundle, again, talk to Disney+ support here.

If you only subscribe to Disney+ at the moment, you’ll still see the Hulu tile and the ability to click on Hulu shows, but you’ll then be prompted with an upsell option to convert to the bundle for an additional $2/month compared to what you’re currently paying for Disney+.

If you’re sharing passwords between households for the two apps though, well, you’re on your own, and Disney is on to you.

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