Since the arrival of Disney+ in 2019, the streaming service has grown exponentially. However, although many users don’t realize it, Disney+ is one of three streamers owned by the House of Mouse. ESPN+ is the second, and Hulu will be the third when Comcast gives up its share in 2024. Between the three, Disney now has more subscribers than even Netflix. But success also mean higher prices, and Disney+ and Hulu are planning on raising the monthly subscription price before the end of the year.
Disney+’s original price point of $6.99/month was a genuine shock to the industry when it was announced in April 2019. At the time, Netflix was charging $13.99, Hulu’s ad-free tier was $11.99, and HBO Max was talking $14.99. Since then, Disney+ has increased slightly to $7.99/month. But it’s still incredibly cheap next to its competitors, especially when you consider Netflix can be as much as $19.99/month. From that angle, the decision to raise prices wasn’t surprising when Disney announced it as part of the August 2022 earning call. But the bump up will be steep. Instead of going to $8.99 or the old standard of $9.99, Disney+ is shooting up a whole $3/month to $10.99.
Thankfully, fans who cannot afford to suddenly shell out another $36/year for Disney+ on top of the $95.88 it already costs have options. The $10.99/month plan is “Disney+ Premium.” Disney+ will also have “Disney+ Basic,” a $7.99/month tier. The catch: It’ll have ads. There are not many ads; the current estimate is four minutes/hour, and Disney will not accept any ads that could be deemed “political” or sell alcohol. Moreover, those ads will only be for adult profiles. Any profile set to “kids” will remain ad-free.
As for Hulu, the ad-supported tier costs $6.99/month and will go up a dollar to $7.99, matching the Disney+ ad-supported tier’s pricing. Hulu’s ad-free tier, now $12.99, will jump to $14.99/month. For the sports fans who get ESPN+, the recent price hike from $6.99 to $9.99/month (announced in July) remains unchanged.
For those who bundle Disney+ and Hulu with ESPN+, the price for all three is also going up. Currently, the Disney Bundle with ad-supported Hulu costs $13.99/month. It will now be the “ad-supported” tier across Disney+ and Hulu and go up a dollar to $14.99. However, the Disney Bundle with ad-free Hulu, which was already $19.99/month, will stay at that price point, and be ad-free across all three services.
Disney isn’t rolling all these increases out at once. The ESPN+ hike announced in July goes into effect on Aug. 23, 2022, but the rest will wait. The Hulu and Disney Bundle price increases will start on Oct. 10, 2022. The Disney+ price hike won’t hit until Dec. 8, 2022.
That means subscribers can keep enjoying High School Musical: The Musical: The Series Season 3, She-Hulk: Attorney-at-Law, and the coming “Disney Day” specials at the old prices, ad-free, for now. But come the holidays, you’ll be spending a little more to watch The Mandalorian Season 3 or watching it with a few more ads than before.
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