Ready to Pay More to Stream? Hulu, Peacock, and Disney+ Increase Prices
This October, Disney-owned streaming services will all increase in price, with standalone Disney+ going up to $13.99 per month and standalone Hulu prices going as high as $17.99 per month. The price increase was expected, but the surprise is that the ad-supported tiers will not change in price—both Hulu and Disney+ will remain at $7.99 per month with ads.
The Disney news comes a little under a month after Peacock raised its prices for the first time. The move echoes similar increases from major streaming services, which have increased prices this year.
With the continuous increases, there’s the potential for higher churn and cancellation rates in the coming months as price hikes hit viewers’ wallets.
The price hikes are meant to increase revenue per subscriber, mainly impacting the ad-free tiers since streamers make more money on the ad-supported tiers.
Peacock hikes prices for the first time
As we reported back in July, Peacock hiked its prices for the first time since 2020. While other streamers have embraced price hikes and password crackdowns, Peacock has not messed with a good thing. But now it’s joining the likes of Netflix, Max, and Paramount+, forcing viewers to pay more to stream.
The Peacock increases are less drastic and amount to $1–$2 more monthly for the premium subscription (with ads) and the premium plus (ad-free) price plan. The company did remove its free tier earlier this year, though. Current subscribers will pay the increased price after one month, while new subscribers will face the increased costs immediately.
While Peacock has increased its subscribers over the years, it still faces losses due to programming costs.
How much are Disney+ and Hulu now?
Disney is raising prices for Disney+, Hulu, and ESPN+ again, with the ad-free versions of Disney+ and Hulu increasing by $3 and ESPN+ rising by $1. The price increases go into effect on October 12.
So, Disney+ without ads will soon cost $13.99 per month—double the initial price of the service ($6.99) when it began in 2019. The ad-supported tier is staying the same at $7.99. Disney wants to get more customers on the ad-supported tier because that’s where the company makes more money per subscriber. It’s also advertising its Trio Basic plan as the “Best Value” for the same reason. The more ad revenue the company can get, the better its bottom line.
Disney is also introducing a new Bundle tier, called Duo Premium, which offers ad-free Disney+ and Hulu for $19.99/mo. Previously, that was the price for Trio Premium, the tier that offered both services in addition to ESPN+. On October 12, Trio Premium will increase to a whopping $24.99/mo., but until then, Duo Premium and Trio Premium are both the same price.
Disney Bundle price increases on October 12
|Plan||Services||Ad-free?||Old price||New price|
|Duo Basic||Disney+, Hulu||—||$9.99/mo.||$9.99/mo.|
|Duo Premium||Disney+, Hulu||✔||NEW||$19.99/mo.|
|Trio Basic||Disney+, Hulu, ESPN+||—||$12.99/mo.||$12.99/mo.|
|Trio Premium||Disney+, Hulu, ESPN+||✔||$19.99/mo.||$24.99/mo.|
Is Disney selling off ABC and FX?
We have also heard that Disney may sell off its broadcast networks, including ABC and FX. Right now, nothing is certain or confirmed.
The news started when Disney CEO Bob Iger said on CNBC the linear business (including channels like ABC, FX, Freeform, National Geographic, and the Disney Channel) “may not be core” to the company moving forward. Iger later talked about how valuable the television production teams are and how important ABC News is to Disney.
“While linear [TV] remains highly profitable for Disney today, the trends being fueled by cord-cutting are unmistakable,” Iger said on the earnings call yesterday.
So what is Disney going to do? Well, the company is preparing to take complete control of Hulu in January when it can buy out Comcast’s share. On the earnings call yesterday, Iger noted a need for content to fuel the streaming business, “notably Hulu.”
Disney will likely make moves to boost ESPN and fully acquire Hulu in the near term instead of selling off broadcast networks. While cable package subscriptions may be falling, the channels still contribute revenue and content for Disney. However, Iger noted that Disney is all-in on streaming, which could spell trouble down the line for broadcast networks.
Will a password-sharing crackdown come to Disney?
After Netflix rolled out password sharing in May, it looks like more streamers may get in on the action—especially after Netflix reported more subscribers and revenue.
Iger shared that password sharing is significant on Disney+ and that in 2024 the company will start to crack down. “We actually think that there’s an opportunity here to help us grow our business,” Iger said on the earnings call.
Disney will likely follow the Netflix playbook and offer subscribers the opportunity to add non-household members to their Disney+, Hulu, and/or ESPN+ accounts for a fee.