Snippet: Disney Hikes Streaming Prices, Despite Losing Customers ☇

Shared on August 9, 2023

Ben Bowman for The Streamable:

The price for ad-free Disney+ will go up $3/month to $13.99. Ad-free Hulu also gets a $3 hike, up to $17.99. The cost for an ad-free Disney+ and Hulu bundle will be $19.99. That new bundle will be available September 6, the same day Disney+ gets the live action remake of “The Little Mermaid.” [Disney CEO Bob] Iger did say that ad-supported Hulu and Disney+ prices would remain unchanged.

The price of Hulu Live TV is also increasing to $76.99 with ads and $89.99 without ads.

While $3 isn’t a lot of money, it still seems like a large increase compared to other streaming services. In addition, the Hulu Live TV increases are even more significant—$7 with ads and $14 without. Because our memories are short, Hulu Live TV was about half that five years ago.

The company announced an account-sharing crackdown is also on the way. “We are actively exploring ways to address account sharing and the best options for paying subscribers to share their accounts with friends and families,” Iger said. “Later this year, we will begin to update our subscriber agreement with additional terms on our sharing policies. And we will roll out tactics to drive monetization sometime in 2024.”

I’d suspect the pricing is to push people to the bundle, lining things up for the eventual combination of Disney+ and Hulu. Getting people accustomed to paying $20/month for the two services as a bundle could then transition over to a Disney “mega app” for $19.99/month.

Then again, nickel-and-diming your customers leaves a bad taste in people’s mouths, especially as a lot of the Disney content feels stale while the company searches for new hits. ESPN+ will also increase by $1. As I’ve said before, it’s a bold strategy—let’s see if it pays off for them.

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