Hulu officially launches on Disney Plus — here's what you need to know

The new Disney Plus app with access to Hulu streaming service added
(Image credit: Future)

Subscribers to both Disney Plus and Hulu will have more convenient options for watching their favorite programming starting today, with Disney announcing the official launch of Hulu’s integration into Disney Plus. That follows a limited beta launch for some users back in December.

For anyone who subscribes to the combined Disney Bundle or to both Disney Plus and Hulu on their own with the same e-mail address, the Disney Plus app will now feature all of Hulu’s content alongside existing Disney Plus content, meaning that viewers won’t have to switch between apps if they’re bingeing both “The Bear” and “Loki.”

There’s no price change associated with this new integration, and Bundle plans still start at $9.99 per month (including ads), while Disney Plus and Hulu alone each start at $7.99 per month.

How it works for Hulu and Disney Plus subscribers 

The integration is helpful for those subscribers already interested in both services, and for people who only subscribe to Hulu, there won’t be any noticeable difference, since the integration doesn’t work both ways. For Disney Bundle subscribers who are used to having separate apps, there may be a period of adjustment, especially for parents who don’t want their young kids accidentally (or maybe not accidentally) watching, say, “A Murder at the End of the World” or “The Great.” Those users will need to adjust parental controls on individual profiles to account for the new programming availability.

Anyone who only subscribes to Disney Plus and has no interest in Hulu can look forward to what a press release calls “expanded upsell options across additional devices,” which means that they’ll be bothered more frequently and extensively to upgrade their subscription to the Disney Bundle for an extra $2 a month. 

This is the latest step in the long evolution that began when Disney bought Hulu co-owner 21st Century Fox in 2019, giving it a majority ownership of the service. Disney recently acquired the remaining stake in Hulu from Comcast, paving the way for it to be fully integrated into Disney Plus. Since Hulu is a U.S.-only service, its programming has already been available on Disney Plus in other countries, where it’s generally placed under the Star category. Whether Hulu will remain a standalone brand and service over the long term is still unclear, although Disney paid a lot of money for the privilege of potentially just shutting it down.

For now, Hulu lives, and it’s even influencing the branding of Disney Plus, with the service’s signature blue logo color changing to a blue-green that the company calls “aurora,” integrating the Hulu green. There’s also a new Disney Plus “orchestral mnemonic” (aka the music you hear when you start the app) from Oscar-winning composer Ludwig Göransson. It’s a whole lot of corporate puffery whose ultimate purpose is getting more subscribers to part with more money, of course.

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Josh Bell

Josh Bell is a freelance writer and movie/TV critic based in Las Vegas. He's the former film editor of Las Vegas Weekly and has written about movies and TV for Vulture, Inverse, CBR, Crooked Marquee and more. With comedian Jason Harris, he co-hosts the podcast Awesome Movie Year.