Hulu hikes monthly, annual subscription prices

Hulu confirmed that its Live TV plans and its bundle with Disney+ and ESPN+ will not be affected by the price increase

Hulu's monthly and annual subscriptions are about to get more expensive.

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The streaming service told subscribers in an email last month that its ad-supported plan would increase by $1 to $6.99 per month and by $12 to $83.88 per year. It also now offers an annual ad-supported plan for $69.99 per year, up from $59.99 per year. Meanwhile, the platform's ad-free plan will increase by $1 to $12.99 per month and by $12 to $155.88 per year. The price adjustments will be reflected in billing cycles on or after Oct. 8 unless customers cancel their plan. 

The move comes after Hulu + Live TV packages increased to $64.99 per month with ads and $70.99 per month without ads late last year and follows Disney+'s $1 increase in March to $7.99 per month, or a $12 increase to $95.88 per year. Disney+ also offers an annual plan of $79.99 per year, up from $69.99 per year.  

Hulu Support confirmed on Twitter that prices for the Live TV plans and the $13.99 per month bundle with ad-supported Hulu, Disney+ and ESPN+ will not be included in Friday's increase. In addition, Hulu has said that those subscribed through a discount or promotional offer will not be affected by the price increase.  

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Disney reported in August that Hulu was profitable in the third quarter, with a total of 42.8 million paid subscribers, including 3.7 million Hulu Live subscribers. Meanwhile, Disney+ and ESPN+ had 116 million and 14.9 million paid subscribers, respectively. 

"I think what's driving [Hulu's growth] is a combination of great content that draws a lot of eyeballs and draws a lot of interest and a lot of viewership," Disney CEO Bob Chapek said during Goldman Sach's Communicopia conference in September. "But at the same time, really sophisticated modeling and technology that we have that enables our advertisers to target exactly who they want, when they want, and how they want." 

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
DIS THE WALT DISNEY CO. 146.22 -0.98 -0.67%

Disney previously estimated at its Investor Day conference in December 2020 that Hulu would become profitable in fiscal 2023 and have between 50 million and 60 million subscribers by the end of fiscal 2024. As for Disney+, the media giant said at the time it expected the service to become profitable and have somewhere between 230 million to 260 million subscribers by 2024.

However, Chapek emphasized last month that its direct to consumer business is not linear on a quarter-to-quarter basis, adding that Disney+ is expected to see a fourth-quarter subscriber increase by the "low single-digit millions." 

"We're very bullish and confident about our long-term sub growth, but we're going to see a little bit more noise than I think maybe the Street expects in terms of our ultimate projections quarter-to-quarter," he added.