Industry Experts Weigh In on Disney’s Acquisition of Comcast’s Stake in Hulu

As growing pains continue to plague the streaming industry, Disney is preparing to buy out Comcast’s stake in Hulu for at least $8.6 billion. It’s the latest sign of volatility in the space and a move that competitors are closely watching.

J. Christopher Hamilton

J. Christopher Hamilton is a Syracuse University professor with a background as a media executive and entertainment attorney. He took time to answer some questions about Disney’s plans and the potential implications for the industry.

What is the overall assessment from industry insiders about Disney buying out Comcast’s stake in Hulu?

“Overall, industry insiders think the Disney acquisition of Comcast’s stake in Hulu was an inevitable move that has the potential to benefit the future of Disney streaming. Disney previously announced that they want Hulu content to be on Disney + and the intention to create a “one app experience” combining the two. But like other streaming companies, Disney has been struggling with investor confidence and streaming profitability.  Furthermore, streaming is a sinking ship these days and combining the two streaming services or trying to create bundle packages may not appeal to either of the services’ current audiences.”

How might other media companies/streamers respond to the move?

“Disney has been the market leader in streaming among the other legacy media companies. Netflix is even watching Disney’s revenue from ad-supported content to compare it to the potential variability of its AVOD offering, as well as trying to model a broader content offering (sports and gaming) based on Disney’s success.”