Q. I read that Disney Plus is raising its price and I know that they own Hulu. Will Hulu raise their prices, too? I am a senior and I don’t know if I can keep paying these prices. — June, Gaithersburg, Maryland.
June, Disney+ is raising its monthly price from $6.99 to $7.99, effective tomorrow. This will be the streamer’s first monthly price hike since its launch in November 2019.
In addition, Disney+ is raising its annual subscription rate from $69.99 to $79.99 and the Disney+/Hulu/ESPN+ bundle will rise from $12.99 a month to $13.99 a month.
And now that we have brought up Hulu…Yes, Disney owns Hulu which would make you wonder if the company will impose a similar rate hike on Hulu’s standalone subscription. Hulu’s base price (with ads) is now $5.99 a month while its no-ads plan costs $11.99 a month. (Hulu’s multi-channel live service costs $64.99 a month.)
Hulu has maintained its $5.99 starter price for a few years now and it’s been a major reason why the Video on Demand service has nearly doubled its subscription numbers since January 2019. Until Hulu lowered the price from $7.99 a month to $5.99 a month, the company was badly lagging behind Netflix and Amazon Prime in total subscriptions. While it still trails both services, it has closed the gap and stay competitive despite the emergence of several new streaming entries such as Disney+, HBO Max and Discovery+.
However, the time may be near for Disney to raise Hulu’s prices, at least for the base plan. Hulu’s rivals now all charge significantly more and the cost of acquiring and producing programming continues to escalate. Consequently, I foresee a Hulu price hike for its ads-included plan, and the no-ads package, in the coming weeks. (However, I don’t expect a price hike for Hulu’s live service anytime soon.)
The TV Answer Man will monitor this situation and report back here if there are any changes.
Until then, happy viewing, and stay safe!
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— Phillip Swann