The Streaming Landscape After Disney’s Deal

And it still has the rights to old episodes of big TV shows, including some from 21st Century Fox. The first season of “American Crime Story” about the O. J. Simpson murder trial that was a ratings smash for FX and a big award winner? Netflix will continue to hold onto that.


Hulu’s “The Handmaid’s Tale,” with Elisabeth Moss, won the Emmy Award for best drama this year.

Take Five/Hulu

HULU Hulu has had a big year. It finally found a signature show in “The Handmaid’s Tale,” which won best drama at the Emmys. It introduced a live TV service. And its owners — which include Comcast, Disney, Time Warner and 21st Century Fox — also made a concerted effort over the past year to sell back libraries of their hit TV shows like “This Is Us” and “30 Rock” to Hulu rather than Netflix.

On the other hand, Hulu remains a relatively small business that bleeds money. The last time it disclosed the number of people who subscribe to the service (a year and a half ago) it was a relatively teeny 12 million. As a comparison, Netflix has more than 100 million subscribers worldwide, roughly half of them in the United States. And there are plenty of indications that Hulu’s growth has only inched a bit in the time since.

Still, Disney will assume Fox’s stake in Hulu, and will now own more than 50 percent of the streaming service. Whether that means Disney can simply merge Hulu’s enormous array of content into its forthcoming service is unclear. Some analysts are skeptical that NBC Universal’s parent company, Comcast, will allow Disney to simply buy it out.

“We see no reason why Comcast would want to enable Disney to have a more successful streaming service that hampers the legacy bundle that is vital to Comcast,” said Rich Greenfield, at analyst at BTIG.


Rachel Brosnahan stars in Amazon’s “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,” which recently received multiple Golden Globe nominations.

Nicole Rivelli/Amazon, via Associated Press

AMAZON It’s been a difficult year for Amazon’s streaming service. Top leaders at the entertainment division were ousted this year, and Amazon has been undergoing something of a retooling after many of its original TV series failed to gain real traction.

But still, it is investing plenty of money….

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