Recently a news article regarding Hulu was brought to my attention over the need to create some more original content, so here is how I think things are going to play out.
I suspect that Hulu is going to go one of two ways.
Scenario 1 Because Disney+ is “family” focused, Hulu will focus on the more adult stuff (sic) with movies and TV shows.
Disney tried to broaden their appeal by investing in other studios, namely Touchstone and Hollywood pictures which it used to create movies that were not quite “child friendly”. The investment led to movies like The Rock and Con Air don’t quite fit into the Disney+ streaming service but are perfect for something like Hulu to host. Since Disney obtained ABC, much of the material they air after the 9 PM (8 PM Central) time zone isn’t necessarily the type of material that would fit into the Disney+ service but obviously feels right at home with Hulu.
With NBC, Fox and CBS likely pulling their material from Hulu and using it to fill up space on their own streaming service platforms, Hulu is obviously going to need to supplement that with more original content. But the truth is that Disney has been creating original content for decades now. The most obvious place you would see it is on The Disney Channel where they still continue to make child and tween family-friendly material. They have also been creating more mature fare for Free Form, the Cable channel, formally known as ABC Family. While hardly adult-oriented the material tends to be more focused on young adult and CW aged programming
I’ll bet good money that they already have some ideas cooking to get programming produced and ready to go as soon as the Comcast/CBS deal is expired.
Scenario 2 Cable Replacement
But that’s not the direction I think they’ll focus most of the attention on, I think they’ll transform Hulu into a cable alternative. They have been a force to be reckoned with in that department with the only real competitors being YouTube TV and Sling. I think Google hurt itself with its Roku standoff, they just haven’t acknowledged it in public yet. I think that Roku hurt itself too, but I think that Google suffered most of the damage and that played well for Hulu.
My gut tells me that Disney saw the potential of using Hulu as a cable alternative and if you toss in some original material to give it some additional marketing appeal and they’ll be going toe to toe with YouTube. They have the clout to get local programming, probably more clout than Google in some ways because they have been in the TV industry for decades now, so I can’t help but think that going to be their focus. This is, of course, pure speculation on my part, but it does seem to make the most sense.