Hulu has signed a multi-year licensing agreement with Disney for the rights to stream 56 classic Disney titles. It’s the biggest addition of full-length films to Hulu’s catalogue to date, according to the company.
Six titles will exclusively stream on Hulu, though you’ll still be able to rent or buy them online: The Nightmare Before Christmas, Mulan, Pocahontas, Hercules, Sister Act, and Air Bud. They’re already available. You’ll be able to stream the other 50 films — The Emperor’s New Groove, Tarzan, and Lilo and Stitch, for example — come 2017, though they will not be exclusive to Hulu.
Netflix, one of Hulu’s competitors in the streaming space, signed a similar deal with Disney in 2012 to stream exclusive titles from Walt Disney Animation Studios, Marvel, Pixar, and Lucasfilm. The same deal gave Netflix the right to stream titles from Disney at the same time they would be available to subscription cable networks, starting in 2016. Netflix reminded customers about the deal in May, telling them to “get ready for summer.” The titles became available in September.
Viewership of kids’ content on Hulu went up 300% from 2015 to 2016, and Hulu has made several moves to bolster its library of kids’ content and introduce kid-friendly features in 2016. The streaming service enabled customers to create several user profiles on one account in early December, including separate logins for children with content safeguards. Netflix supports a similar feature.
And just last month, Hulu signed an agreement with Disney-ABC Television Group to exclusively stream Disney Channel Original movies and series, the largest expansion of Hulu’s library of kids’ content yet. Earlier this year, the company acquired exclusive rights to all nine past seasons and the future seasons of Curious George in a deal with NBCUniversal. The show has been the most popular kids series on Hulu.
Disney owns a 30% stake in Hulu, though a Hulu spokesperson said the current deal will not affect the ownership structure of the company. Other terms of the deal were not disclosed.
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