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Hulu Raises Price For Both Of Its On-Demand Streaming Tiers; Live Service, Disney Bundle Rates Won’t Change

Deadline 07 September, 2021 - 08:30pm

In a not-terribly-shocking development, Disney is raising prices at Hulu, following other increases in recent months at ESPN+ and Disney+.

Effective October 8, the basic, ad-supported version of Hulu will go from $5.99 a month to $6.99, while the ad-free tier rises a dollar to $12.99.

The changes, conveyed to subscribers this morning, do not affect rates for the Disney bundle or Hulu’s live TV service. It is the first update of Hulu’s pricing since an interesting combo move in early 2019, when the monthly cost of the basic tier dropped $2 to $5.99.

Advertising is an increasingly vital part of Hulu’s strategy. Having launched in 2007 — far earlier than more recent ad-supported offerings like NBCUniversal’s Peacock or WarnerMedia’s HBO Max with Ads — Hulu has made steady progress in terms of ad revenue. Total ad revenue this year is expected to top $3 billion, according to eMarketer. Broadcast ad revenue, by comparison, was $3.26 billion in 2020.

Disney, which is now more than halfway toward its 2024 subscriber goal, has not been shy about raising prices. As Netflix has shown, scale only increases pricing leverage. The prices for Disney+ and ESPN+ have increased by a dollar in recent months. The Disney bundle also rose by $1 in March, and last December a hefty $10-a-month hike boosted the monthly price of Hulu + Live TV to $64.99.

For Hulu, one reason for the increase is Disney’s decision to add thousands of Bollywood titles and Hotstar originals to the platform. Hotstar’s stand-alone U.S. offering is slated to go dark sometime next year. Indian Premier League cricket and other sports offerings from Hotstar are shifting to ESPN+.

In its most recent fiscal quarter, which ended July 3, Disney reported almost 174 million total subscribers across Disney+, ESPN+ and Hulu. The on-demand portion of Hulu rose 22% from the year-earlier period, to 39.1 million. In December 2020, Disney set an updated goal of attaining 300 million to 350 million total streaming subscribers by 2024. The company took full operational control of Hulu in 2019 after closing a $71.3 billion deal for most assets of 21st Century Fox and then buying out Comcast’s stake in the joint venture.

In addition to original series, Hulu has been pushing into original movies. Vacation Friends last month turned in the best opening weekend of any Hulu film to date, and a sequel is on the way.

Pricing has been one of the more complex aspects to the recent streaming boom. While conventional wisdom previously held that viewers would be unlikely to pay for more than three streaming services at a time, the effects of the coronavirus pandemic disproved that theory. As viewership continues to shift from linear to streaming and business models also continue to evolve, viewers are maintaining a healthy appetite for streaming and appear to be willing to pay for it.

As the experience of Netflix and others has shown, price increases usually are followed by a slowdown in subscriber additions. The tradeoff is usually well worth it financially in the short term and, in the long term, subscriber growth often resumes.

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I signed up two months ago for a plan that was $2.99 a month for six months — then got the email today that it’s going up.

So far the service has not even been worth the original sale price.

They can only keep increasing prices until the bubble burst. They’d know what they’re doing…

Also, Dis eye is being so greedy in the US. They should merge Hulu into Disney+, as they did internationally with the Star brand. They’re charging you twice, folks!

They can’t right now for one reason: a small stake in Hulu is still owned by NBCUniversal, aka C*mcast.

I get Hulu as an extra freebie to my Spotify subscription. I wonder if this will have any effect on my Spotify price.

Hulu is an OK service, but nothing special about it, and its interface is terrible.

It’s a good service but, yeah, the interface-ugh.

Disney is suddenly raising the price on Hulu to pay for that huge settlement Scarlett Johansson is about to get from them

No, they’re raising prices because they can get away with that. Has nothing to do with any settlement they may have to pay for cheating and breaching their contract with Scarlett Johansson. Blaming Scarlett Johansson for fighting back against being cheated and smeared is ridiculous.

Don’t cancel Hulu yet. Check and see if you qualify for the E.B.B. discount. You can get $50 a month off your Internet, Cable or Mobile Phone Bill. Those saving could help with Hullu price increase

I see a lot of people crying on here. If you can’t afford $13.00 a month, you have much bigger problems than whether or not you get/keep Hulu.

The price increase will only hurt Hulu if it makes people think “why am I subscribing to this in the first place?” Then they realize they only need one service at a time. Get one, hoover up the good stuff, cancel, move onto the next one. No need to spend more than $15/month on streaming. Would be a lot less some months. Would average to $10/month over time.

Every price increases raises the danger of people realizing they’ve been spending too much on streaming and motivating them to finally take action.

There are a lot of people on fixed income without increases and when everything increases (rent, food, electricity, water/sewerage, groceries, gas, transportation, internet, etc) whether it is .50 or a 1.00, it hurts. Apparently, you are fortunate enough to weather these increases across the board. Most of us are not that lucky.

Disingenuous comment. It’s not about if you can afford it, it’s about if it continues to be worth it at the price anymore.

I had Hulu and dropped when they did price increase the first time. When I saw they were being taken over by Disney, I knew I would never subscribe again.

Shang-Chi makes over $80 Million for Disney, and yet Disney still needs to raise prices for streaming??

Disney had $65.39 billion in revenue in 2020. In April 2020, one month after the shutdowns began they laid-off thousands of employees at 20th Century Fox. This company doesn’t care about anything but profits

As it should, I don’t see Disney being a charity company. It’s a business a well run business, if people aren’t needed it is Disney’s responsibility to shareholders to get rid of them. People have this idea that Disney needs to keep people on the payroll just because they work there, sorry, that isn’t how business works.

I just got an email about this price hike. Raising prices in a pandemic right before Christmas? Screw Disney I’m caceling my no-ads subscription

Christmas is 6 months from now, the pandemic will never end. Get over yourself.

Stated the obvious, but still made me laugh.

Disney is making the right move, small $1.00 increases every year is better than wait a few years and have one big increase. Netflix tried that in 2014 to 2017 with a $4 jump at once in 2017 and there was a big uproar over it and they lost subscribers. When you have small price increases people don’t really notice it.

I’d say it’s better to not increase the price every year, you know… It’s simple, they make enough money to finance their annual production, so keep it that way instead of increasing the number of shows they put on the service. At some point nobody will care, like people do with the 17625 shows Netflix release each month.

So how does this affect the Disney+, Hulu,and ESPN+ bundle? I’m paying 13.99 a month now.

The Disney Bundle is not changing.

I use Hulu to catch up on a few shows like grey’s anatomy. I don’t watch all that Disney stuff or Hulu originals or any thing like that. I hate paying for that but I also hate waiting a week like you do on abc site. I don’t pay for cable or Any other streaming services either. Wish I could record on VCR like the old days.

I had considered adding Hulu, but not now. Paying for ads is bad enough, but when you’re on a fixed income, you think twice. I’m already paying for cable, why ad more ads

There is a no-ad version but it’s more expensive

You should drop cable, it’s a ripoff. But there’s no reason to subscribe to more than one service at a time. Just rotate among them.

Amazon prime is a much better deal with their discounts:

They have a lot of Showtime & Starz Shows on there now for free

Hulu is not worth it and neither is Disney+. Wished they combine and create a better library. I thought the streaming wars were supposed to increase quality, but it has just created a system of bloated streamers. More content that I could ever possibly watch means I narrowed my streaming services to two. Hulu and DisneyPlus are not those two services.

I agree. Looks like I’ll cancel my Hulu this month. No one in the house watches it anyway. Our new craze is Peacock!!

Yes. I actually enjoy HBOMax quite a bit, and I think I’ll always have Netflix. Paramount+ didn’t do it for me. I think I can wait until several seasons of things are on, and I get a month in which to just sign up for a month and binge. But they’re not worth keeping. Free ad-supported Peacock is great. I don’t mind the ads. I love watching the free stuff on Tubi, ads and all. I just think that there will be a natural culling of the streamers and we’ll end up with at most four at the end. I literally would need 3 lifetimes just to get through the Netflix queue I have now.

Free, ad-supported Peacock is a good deal if you can stomach ads. I can’t personally.

Free ad-supported Peacock is a good deal if you only want to watch the first couple of episodes of a season (if that).

When the price is free, you better not be fussy about content quality! Hey it’s a step up from cat videos. But like I said, ad-supported tiers are not for me. I am fussy about content (and about ads wasting my time.)

I had the no-ads tier for the first year. Thre dashboard is a nightmare to navigate

Another Hulu Live increase will be coming soon…bet on it. This is Disney.

Why should I pay more for Bollywood and cricket, which I will never watch.

The assumption that consumers will get “more than 4” services simultaneously is an exaggeration if you are talking about paid services. As the price increases continue, the number of services that consumers will tolerate will decrease and people will learn the churn game. No need for more than 1 at a time, really.

That’s what I do. Hulu with no ads is the one I constantly keep though

Amazon Prime will be my only “forever” streamer cuz I get it for the free shipping. Even Netflix is getting close to the chopping block. Nothing but crap crap crap each week. When I sample Hulu, it will be at Netflix’s expense.

I think it’s fair. It’s been awhile since Hulu raised prices.

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Hulu’s monthly prices increase by $1 as Disney pushes its streaming bundle

The Verge 07 September, 2021 - 08:30pm

Ad-supported and ad-free streaming are affected, Live is not

The price of the Disney bundle, which includes Hulu, Disney Plus, and ESPN Plus, doesn’t appear to be going up along with Hulu’s prices — however, it already went up by a dollar earlier this year when Disney Plus got a $1 per month price hike. It currently costs $13.99 per month for a version with ad-supported Hulu and $19.99 a month for ad-free Hulu. If you want all the services, the bundle is a good deal — it’ll save you almost $8 a month versus buying the services separately (after the Hulu price change) whether you go with the ad or ad-free plans. Disney’s CEO has reportedly said that the company is pushing the bundle.

Hey there, Justin! No — the Disney Bundle and Live TV plan prices will not change as a result of the above price changes. Let us know if you have any other questions!

Hulu hasn’t been resting on its laurels since its last price increase, though. In recent months, subscribers have gotten access to HDR for some original shows and movies and a Watch Party feature that lets friends watch shows together. Whether these features and the content available on the service add up to something worth $7 or $13 a month will be up to you, but come October, that’s the price of admission.

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Disney raises prices at Hulu effective October 8

PhoneArena 07 September, 2021 - 05:01pm

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Well, Hulu Is Going to Cost You an Extra Dollar Soon

Vulture 07 September, 2021 - 04:34pm

Please read our updated Privacy Notice and Terms of Use, effective on December 19, 2019.

The price increase will not affect Hulu Live TV or the Disney Bundle. The recent price increases for Disney+, ESPN+, and now Hulu will, of course, make the Disney Bundle seem like the value-conscious way to go, which is exactly what Disney wants you to think — the company launched its social campaign “The Streamer,” starring Dave Bautista, shortly after the ESPN+ price announcement.

Hulu Is Raising Its Prices Again

Gizmodo 07 September, 2021 - 03:50pm

Thankfully, Hulu’s Live TV bundles have not been subject to any price hikes this year, probably because making them any more expensive would further erode what little artifice is left to the idea that cutting the cord is in any way cheaper than buying a cable package.

Just picking up the remote can take you to an app you don’t even subscribe to.

Hulu to raise prices by $1 per month to $12.99 for ad-free streaming, $6.99 for video with ads

ComingSoon.net 07 September, 2021 - 03:13pm

The Disney-owned Hulu streaming service will increase monthly prices by $1, bringing the No Ads tier to $12.99 and the tier with ads to $7.99.

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Selena Gomez, Martin Short and Steve Martin chat with USA TODAY's Erin Jensen about their new Hulu series, "Only Murders in the Building." USA TODAY

Streaming service Hulu is raising the monthly price of its on-demand video plans by $1, beginning Oct. 8.

The price of Hulu with No Ads will increase from $11.99 to $12.99 for current and new subscribers. Hulu with ads will be $6.99, up from $5.99. 

Pricing remains the same for Hulu Live TV ($64.99) and the Disney streaming bundle, which includes Disney+, ESPN+ and Hulu with Ads ($13.99) or Disney+, ESPN+ and Hulu with No Ads ($19.99).

This is just the latest price increase for Disney's streaming services. Disney+ monthly subscriptions rose $1 in March from $6.99 a month to $7.99 a month. Annual subscriptions went up $10, from $69.99 to $79.99. And in August, the monthly subscription fee for ESPN+ rose $1 to $6.99.

Last month, Disney said it had nearly 174 million subscriptions across the three streaming services: Disney+ had 116 million; ESPN+, 14.9 million; and Hulu had 39.1 million subscribers, plus 3.7 million to its Live TV with on-demand streaming service. In comparison, Netflix has about 209 million subscribers worldwide.

In addition to original shows "Nine Perfect Strangers,""Only Murders in the Building" and "Vacation Friends," Hulu has added thousands of Bollywood hits and Hotstar Specials from the Disney-operated India-based streaming service. 

© 2021 USA TODAY, a division of Gannett Satellite Information Network, LLC.

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