Hulu lands exclusive Disney Channel deal

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Families with Hulu subscriptions rejoice: Disney Channel shows are exclusively coming to the popular streaming service.

Disney and Hulu struck a deal to add more than 500 episodes of original movies and television shows from Disney Jr. and Disney XD, according to multiple media reports.  The deal includes shows like “K.C. Undercover,” “Dog with a Blog” and “Austin & Ally.”

“Today’s deal helps complete the portfolio of our kids series,” Lisa Holme, vice president of content acquisition for Hulu, said in a statement, reported by AdWeek.

News of the deal comes a month after Hulu announced major plans to offer a live streaming package to compete with the likes of Sling TV and Playstation Vue. It’s unclear if this deal includes live streaming rights for future services with Hulu, but ABC, which Disney owns, along with NBC and Fox, have been reported to be part of the live streaming deal.

“As our biggest content licensing agreement with the Disney brand, this deal further demonstrates our commitment to offering popular, high-quality kids programming on Hulu, Craig Erwich, Hulu’s senior vice president of content, said in a statement.

The deal also speaks to the importance of building a dominant kids programming lineup. All of the major players, including Netflix, which announced five new original animated series this year, and Amazon, which is gearing up to release pilots for six potential new kids series, have their eyes set on families that have cut the cable cord.

About half of Netflix’s 80 million members regularly watch kids’ movies or TV shows, executives told The Washington Post in March. The goal? Loyalty for life.

“We have a ton of data on what they watch, so we know what properties resonate and when they don’t — when (viewers) have had enough of a franchise and when they can’t get enough of it,” Andy Yeatman, Netflix’ director of global kids content, told The Post.

And it’s not just on the TV that kids are watching. According to a Miner & Co. Studio study, about 57 percents said their kids would rather watch video on a handheld device, like a tablet, instead of a TV.

Andrew Dodson

Andrew Dodson is a journalist from Michigan who writes for MLive.com, the state's top online news source. Email him at andrewdodson@streamingobserver.com.
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