We have bad news for streaming TV enthusiasts: Things are getting more expensive … again.
Many customers of on-demand streaming giants Disney+ and Hulu, as well as the live TV streaming service Hulu + Live TV, are likely to be paying more for their content in the coming months. Even ESPN+ customers will see an impact.
Disney just announced that price increases are coming for many of their most popular subscriptions options for all four services.
But there’s still a chance to save some money by bundling the products and opting for ad-supported tiers.
Let’s take a look at the upcoming changes and try to figure out the most cost-effective way to move forward.
Disney Unveils New Pricing Structure for Disney+, Hulu and Hulu + Live TV
By the time October rolls around, many of us will be asked to pay different rates for our streaming subscriptions that include Disney+, Hulu, Hulu + Live TV and ESPN+.
But exactly how much more likely depends on your tolerance for advertisements. Disney recently launched ad-supported tiers on most of its streaming products, and it seems both customers and advertising partners like it.
“The strong momentum of our ad-supported plans in the U.S. demonstrates the importance of providing consumers with choice, flexibility and value,” said Joe Earley, President, Direct-to-Consumer, Disney Entertainment.
So they’re doing their best to funnel streamers to those subscriptions by holding the pricing firm on those subscriptions while ad-free streamers are being asked to pay more.
Here’s a quick summary of the changes coming for each service and bundle:
If you have the ad-supported tier of Disney+, you’ll continue to pay $7.99 per month.
However, ad-free Disney+ will increase to $13.99 per month or $139.99 per year beginning October 12. This is an increase of $3 per month or $30 per year from the current price points of $10.99 and $109.99.
Much like the Disney+ pricing structure, Hulu’s on-demand product will remain the same ($7.99 per month or $79.99 per year) if you keep the ad-supported subscription.
But ad-free streamers will be asked to pay $17.99 per month beginning October 12.
Hulu + Live TV
If you subscribe to Hulu + Live TV for your live TV streaming needs, you’re going to see a $7 per month price increase on October 12 for all packages.
The Hulu + Live TV “with ads” package will increase from $69.99 to $76.99.
The Hulu + Live TV “no ads” package will increase from $82.99 to $89.99.
Remember, this live TV package includes a bundle of Disney+, ESPN+ and the on-demand Hulu library along with many of the most popular TV channels.
If you pay for ESPN+ as a standalone subscription, you’re going to see a slight price increase on October 12.
The price is jumping from $9.99 per month to $10.99 per month. Annual subscribers will see a rate increase from $99.99 to $109.99.
New Bundles and Bundle Pricing Changes
Disney and Hulu have become well known for their “The Disney Bundle” pairings that allow streamers to save money by paying for two or more of the streaming services mentioned above.
That practice will continue despite these price increases. In fact, there will be a new option thrown into the mix as well.
The “Duo Basic” package that gives ad-supported access to Disney+ and Hulu will remain $9.99 per month.
But beginning September 6, customers will be able to sign up for a new package called “Duo Premium” that gives ad-free access to both services for $19.99 per month.
Pricing on the “Trio Basic” ad-supported bundle that includes ESPN+ will move to $14.99 per month beginning October 12. The “Trio Premium” will provide an ad-free experience for $24.99 per month.
New Pricing Chart for Disney’s Streaming Products
Disney has provided a new pricing chart to help better understand the upcoming changes to monthly and annual premiums.
|Disney+||With Ads (No Change)||$7.99||N/A|
|Hulu||With Ads (No Change)||$7.99||$79.99|
|Disney+ (With Ads) Add-On (No Change)||$2.00||N/A|
|ESPN+ on Hulu Add-On*||$10.99||N/A|
|UFC PPV (standalone) (No Change)||$79.99 (per event)|
|UFC PPV + Annual*||N/A||$134.98|
|Bundle Offerings||Duo Premium: Disney+ (No Ads), Hulu (No Ads)^ – *NEW*||$19.99||N/A|
|Duo Basic: Disney+ (With Ads), Hulu (With Ads) (No Change)||$9.99||N/A|
|Trio Premium: Disney+ (No Ads), Hulu (No Ads), ESPN+ (With Ads)||$24.99||N/A|
|Trio Basic: Disney+ (With Ads), Hulu (With Ads), ESPN+ (With Ads)*||$14.99||N/A|
|Hulu + Live TV||With Ads*||$76.99||N/A|
Notes on Disney’s pricing chart:
- * Effective as of October 12, 2023
- ^Available beginning September 6, 2023
- Pricing for legacy plans and add-ons that are no longer available for purchase are excluded
It is no secret that making streaming TV profitable has been a financial struggle for Disney. The products are great, but they’re expensive to produce.
So, like many other competitors that have shifted strategies in the space, Disney appears to be leaning on a combination of growth in advertisement revenue and the loyalty of its long-time customers to boost profits.
The result is a pricing structure that pushes value-focused streaming customers toward the ad-supported subscription tiers and asks its most loyal streamers to chip in a few extra bucks to enjoy their premium experiences.
That may work in the case of Disney+ and Hulu, where customers can retain the same monthly price they’ve been enjoying on the ad-supported tiers.
But Hulu + Live TV subscribers, which receive the Disney Bundle as part of their subscription, may be turned away by the unavoidable $7 per month increase coming in October.
If you’ve been paying for ad-free streaming on these products, it may be time to consider watching some commercials for the sake of your wallet. A few extra bucks per month can really add up over the course of a year!
Will you change your subscriptions based on this new pricing structure? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the Clark.com community.