You’re going to have to pay a little more for two of Hulu’s most popular plans starting October 8, 2021. The most basic Hulu plan, which includes advertising on its on-demand content, will increase from $6 a month to $7 a month, or $60 to $70 if you pay annually. And if you want to get rid of most of the advertising, you’ll see that price go from $12 a month to $13 a month.
That’s not the largest of increases by any stretch of the imagination, but it’s also not nothing. The increase for the basic Hulu plan is about 17%, getting Hulu without advertising is only going up about 8%.
Hulu notes that if you’re using its service on a promotional offer, or you have some sort of discount, those rates will remain in effect. Also unchanged are Hulu With Live TV, which runs $65 a month and gets you more than five dozen live linear channels alongside all that on-demand content, and the version of that plan without advertising, which is still at $71 a month.
Hulu remains a pretty huge part of owner Disney’s direct-to-consumer play. Some 39.1 million customers are subscribed to Hulu’s streaming video on demand (SVOD) service. Another 3.7 million are subscribed to Hulu With Live TV, which at the very least keeps it in the running for the biggest live TV streaming service in the United States. (YouTube TV hasn’t given fresh numbers since the fall of 2020, which it announced it had more than 3 million subscribers. But it hasn’t updated things since then, nor given any greater fidelity.) Hulu’s younger cousin, Disney+, meanwhile has garnered some 116 million subscribers. That’s not quite apples to apples, though, as Hulu is a domestic U.S. service, while Disney+ is worldwide. (Much of the Hulu on-demand library has found its way overseas, though, as “Star on Disney+.”
Hulu is the greater cash cow, though, bringing in $13.15 per user per month for SVOD, and $84.09 per user for Hulu With Live TV. Disney+ only brings in $4.16 a month, and ESPN brings in $4.47 per month.
The gamble, of course, comes with the blowback. Certainly, some number of users will jump ship and move on at the first sign of a price increase. But Hulu isn’t immune to price increases, and it has enjoyed six straight quarters of growth, since the full Disney takeover, up nearly 44% since the first quarter of FY2020.
There is another side-effect to all this, too. The almighty Disney Bundle — which gets you Hulu, ESPN+ and Disney+ for a single monthly (or annual) price — now looks even more attractive at $7.99 a month or $79.99 a year. (The bundle also has options to get rid of ads on Hulu, or add Hulu With Live TV, or both.)
Good luck telling that to the folks who are about to have to open up their wallets that much more, however.
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