Disney+ subscribers in the US suddenly discovered a number of new anime additions to the service, including some popular titles previously only available on Hulu.
Anime fans just noticed that their Disney+ catalog has grown a lot bigger.
On December 7, 2023, Disney+ subscribers in the US found more anime additions to the service, including popular shows like Attack on Titan Seasons 1-4, Bleach, Spy x Family, Cowboy Bebop, etc. Instead of this being a surprise licensing deal, Disney+ launched a beta version of the Hulu feature on Disney Plus. This means customers who subscribe to Disney+ and Hulu can access “Hulu Hubs,” which offer tons of new TV shows and movies that were previously limited to Hulu.
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The Hulu-Disney app merger is part of an initiative long cherished by Bob Iger, with the Disney CEO promising the app will be combined by the end of 2023. Chief Disney senior executive Joe Earley reiterated that Hulu Hubs is part of a test phase. that will last until March 2024. “It’s an exciting next step for Direct-to-Consumer,” Earley said, “but it’s important for people to manage expectations about the experience that will take place.” The beta experience is said to allow Disney to better understand and respond to audience needs.
With a $14.99 package and a growing anime catalog, Disney+ could be a growing threat to the streaming services commonly associated with the medium. Disney+ originals like Dragons of Wonderhatch and exclusives like Summer Time Rendering, Heavenly Delusion and the upcoming Sand Land movie could one day rival the massive catalogs of HIDIVE and Crunchyroll — especially especially at a time when HIDIVE is scaling back its services in many areas of the world.
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However, Disney+ isn’t the only streaming service with integration. Crunchyroll recently partnered with industry giant Amazon, offering certain subscription tiers to Prime Video users in many Western regions. The company also continued its expansion into video distribution with the takeover of Right Stuf.
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