Disney FORCES Hulu Users to Subscribe to Disney+ and ESPN+ with Another Price Hike

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Another Disney fiscal year ends, and like clockwork Disney jacks up rates on its streaming services.

Beginning in December, Hulu + Live TV will increase yet again from $64.99 to $69.99 per month with ads, or $75.99 without ads.

But what’s different this time is that Hulu subscribers will automatically have Disney+ and ESPN+ bundled with their package — whether they want it or not.

From Engadget

And with the change, the price of Hulu + Live TV plans is increasing by $5 per month for both current and new customers. Come the 21st, the ad-supported tier will cost $69.99 per month, while the “no ads” package will cost $75.99 every 30 days. If you’re a Hulu + Live TV customer with an existing Disney+ and or ESPN+ subscription, those will roll into the new plan.

Disney has steadily jacked the price of Hulu up to near cable prices over the past couple of years. The last price hike was in 2020 and saw the streamer tack on another $10 per month. In 2019, Hulu with Live TV also increased $10 from $44.99 to $54.99.

(So much for “cord-cutting” to save money on those cable bills.)

It’s being speculated that this latest price hike is in reaction to Disney’s less-than-stellar subscriber growth for Disney Plus in Q4. Basically, it would seem as if Disney is willing to sacrifice some disgruntled Hulu subscribers for the chance of adding more Disney+ subs to its bottom line.

But if Disney is forcing users to take Disney Plus, are they really adding to their subscriber growth?

Whatever the case may be, Wall Street isn’t feeling the Disney magic lately. This might be a short term fix, but it doesn’t solve the bigger problem: Disney Plus has seemingly hit a ceiling on subscriber growth.

Unlike Netflix and HBO Max, Disney Plus has thus far stayed away from more adult content that could drive subscriber growth.

However, it’s now being rumored that Mickey might just be willing to “go there” if it means more cheddar. According to reports, Disney is seriously considering adding adult content to Disney Plus to drive sub growth. It’s off-brand for sure, but perhaps a merger of Hulu and Disney Plus are in the cards?


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