Disney has announced that it’s raising the price of Disney Plus to $10.99 / month, up from its current price of $7.99 / month, starting December 8th in the US. The move comes as the company is looking to restructure its pricing options, which will soon include a $7.99 / month ad-supported tier.
Disney’s also raising the price of its Hulu subscription. The ad-free tier will jump from $12.99 / month to $14.99, while the ad-supported version will cost $7.99 / month, up from $6.99. The new pricing goes into effect on October 10th. A price hike for unbundled ESPN Plus streaming was announced in July, taking the monthly price from $6.99 to $9.99 / month.
The price increases affect bundled plans as well. Users with an ad-free Disney Plus subscription along with an ad-supported plan for Hulu and ESPN Plus will increase from $13.99 to $14.99 / month. Disney’s also introducing a bundle that includes Disney Plus and Hulu with ads for $9.99 / month. Meanwhile, Disney Plus, Hulu, and ad-supported ESPN Plus will cost $19.99 / month.
Disney has also adjusted its pricing for its Hulu live TV bundles. Hulu’s live TV bundle with ad-supported Disney Plus, Hulu, and ESPN Plus plans will cost $69.99 / month. The live TV bundle with ad-free Disney Plus, as well as ad-supported Hulu and ESPN Plus plans, will cost $74.99. To get a live TV plan without ads on Disney Plus or Hulu and ad-supported ESPN Plus, you’ll have to pay $82.99 / month.
Last quarter, Disney reported adding 8 million new subscribers to Disney Plus around the same time Netflix announced a decrease in subscribers for the first time in a decade. Now, Disney CEO Bob Chapek says it has added 14.4 million customers to Disney Plus in the third quarter to reach a total of 152 million and 221 million across all its services; however, at the same time, its direct-to-consumer division, which includes the streaming units, lost more money than in previous years. According to Disney, rising production and programming costs for Disney Plus and higher sports programming costs at ESPN Plus contributed to the losses.
Direct-to-Consumer revenues for the quarter increased 19% to $5.1 billion and operating loss increased $0.8 billion to $1.1 billion. The increase in operating loss was due to a higher loss at Disney+, lower operating income at Hulu and, to a lesser extent, a higher loss at ESPN+.
During an earnings call, the company lowered its subscriber forecast for 2024. It now expects Disney Plus to have anywhere from 215 million to 245 million subscribers, instead of its previous prediction of 230 million to 260 million.
“We remain confident that Disney Plus will achieve profitability in fiscal 2024,” Disney CFO Christine McCarthy said during the call.
When asked about sports betting — something Chapek has hinted at in the past — Chapek said the company’s “been in conversations with a number of different platforms” to add the functionality, and that it hopes “to have something to announce in the future in terms of a partnership.”
Correction August 10th 5:40PM ET: A previous version of the article stated Disney Plus, Hulu, and ESPN Plus without ads will cost $19.99 / month, when ESPN Plus will actually have ads in this bundle. We regret the error.
Source: The Verge