Hulu Adds Disney Kids Programming16 Jun, 2016 By: Erik Gruenwedel
Disney’s desire to think outside the Netflix box underscores the June 16 announcement by Hulu of a new content licensing agreement with The ABC Television Group that will make full prior seasons of kids titles from Disney Channel, Disney Junior and Disney XD available to stream.
The agreement, which includes more than 500 episodes and 20 original movies, is the largest kids programming deal made between the two companies to date.
Hulu, which is co-owned by Disney, 21st Century Fox and NBC Universal, is aggressively attempting assert itself in a domestic subscription streaming market dominated by Netflix and Amazon Prime Video.
The SVOD service will become the exclusive home to seven shows, including all past-season episodes of “K.C. Undercover,” starring Zendaya, as well as “Gravity Falls” and “Star vs. The Forces of Evil.” Hulu also acquires exclusive rights to all episodes of former Disney Channel series “Dog With a Blog” and “Austin & Ally.”
Disney Junior programming includes “Sheriff Callie’s Wild West” and “Henry Hugglemonster.” Complete previous seasons of all aforementioned series will be accessible to stream on Hulu later this month. Subsequent seasons will be made available to Hulu in their entirety after the last episode of each season airs.
“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 head of content, said in a statement.
In addition to full seasons of library programming for kids, a selection of more than 20 Disney Channel Original Movies will become available to stream on Hulu for the first time ever.
Separately, Hulu said its virtual reality app now supports the Samsung Gear VR powered by Oculus and the Oculus Rift.
The Hulu VR app incorporates more than 30 pieces of original virtual reality content available for free with or without a Hulu subscription. Hulu subs can stream Hulu’s entire library of 2D content in immersive 3D environments. In May, Hulu announced a partnership with Live Nation to bring virtual reality concert experiences directly to viewers.
Indeed, “12 Monkeys,” the original series from NBC Universal’s Syfy channel, features on Hulu a new immersive virtual environment to watch the entire first season. Viewers who navigate to the “12 Monkeys” show page will be automatically transported to the “Temporal Facility,” which houses the show’s pivotal time machine.
Hulu partnered with the show’s executive producer, Terry Matalas, and production designer, John Mott, to create the space, which includes real-time rendered environments and animations.