Disney content purge amid Disney+, Hulu merger means some films, TV shows could soon be unavailable

Disney CEO Bob Iger said Wednesday that the company has been producing 'a lot of content' that is not helping subscription growth

Disney+ and Hulu will soon be merging into a "one app experience," according to the Walt Disney Company — and this will mean a more reserved approach to content curation.

Disney CEO Bob Iger announced the streaming app consolidation in a Wednesday earnings call following a stock price drop.

"We realized that we made a lot of content that is not necessarily driving sub growth, and we’re getting much more surgical about what it is we make," said Iger.

A Hulu logo is seen on a smartphone screen with a Hulu website in the background.

He continued, "So as we look to reduce content spend, we’re looking to reduce it in a way that should not have any impact at all on subs."

CFO Christine McCarthy confirmed that Disney "will be removing certain content from our streaming platforms and currently expect to take an impairment charge of approximately $1.5 to $1.8 billion."

The struggle to keep both the Disney+ and Hulu brands profitable reflects a larger conflict in Disney's business model as the entertainment titan works to stay on top in the digital age.

Once known for its "Disney Vault" practice of staggering and quickly ending windows of rerelease for classic movies, the model seems to be under consideration once again as the company seeks to raise its value compared to other major streaming services.

Disney CEO Bob Iger arrives at the Oscars at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles.

"From movies to television, to sports, news, and our theme parks, we continue to deliver for consumers, while establishing a more efficient, coordinated, and streamlined approach to our operations," Iger was quoted as saying in the earnings release.

Disney+ lost 4 million global subscribers from the previous quarter to 157.8 million, mainly due to cancelations in India, even as the company reported that it reduced losses by raising prices.

A Disney logo forms part of a menu for the Disney Plus movie and entertainment streaming service on a computer screen.

Disney shares fell on Thursday, weighing on the Dow Jones Industrial Average.

Overall, the company’s streaming services now have a total of over 231.3 million subscribers. In comparison, it had 234.7 million in the first quarter and 205.6 million in 2022’s second quarter.