In its continuing battle with Netflix, Hulu this week announced a new licensing deal with Disney which sees Hulu gaining the exclusive rights to stream a sizable collection of Disney movies via its subscription service. In total, over 50 titles will become available on Hulu in the months ahead, including “The Nightmare Before Christmas,” “Mulan,” “Pocahontas,” “Hercules,” “Lilo & Stitch,” “Tarzan,” and others.
Some of the titles have already hit the service, including “The Nightmare Before Christmas,” “Mulan,” “Pocahontas,” “Hercules,” “Sister Act” and “Air Bud.”
Others will arrive in 2017, such as “Con Air,” “Step Up,” “Gone in 60 Seconds,” “Pearl Harbor,” “Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion,” “The Mighty Ducks,” “Lilo & Stitch,” “Tarzan,” “The Emperor’s New Groove,” “Muppet Treasure Island,” and “The Princess and the Frog.”
Disney, which has a 30 percent stake in Hulu, already offers other content on Hulu thanks to a deal with the Disney-ABC Television Group, announced earlier this year. This includes Disney Channel Original Movies and other programming from Disney’s TV networks.
This new Hulu-Disney licensing agreement means Disney is now splitting its movie library between multiple services, as the company had a prior deal with Netflix, announced back in 2012, that allows Netflix to stream Disney films – including those from Disney, Walt Disney Animation Studios, Marvel, Pixar, and Lucasfilm – within the same window as they would be allowed on paid cable TV networks, like HBO.
Netflix reminded viewers about this deal in May, and the titles started streaming in the fall.
Disney also offers its own streaming service, DisneyLife, in Europe, which includes movies, TV, music and other content.
Terms of the multi-year Hulu-Disney deal were not disclosed, but the additions will go a long way towards rounding out Hulu’s content catalog with programming aimed at children.
Streaming services often focus on their kids’ section, because it’s a key selling point for many paying subscribers. In the past several years, we’ve seen Netflix and Amazon both heavily invest in their own original kids’ programming, for example, while HBO announced a deal with Sesame Workshop in 2015 to bring the iconic “Sesame Street” to its service along with other shows.
In addition to the expansion of the kids’ lineup on Hulu, the service also recently rolled out another Netflix-like feature with its launch of user profiles. This gives kids their own login to Hulu that’s separate from their parents, complete with personalized recommendations, viewing history, and their own watchlist.