Hulu lowers prices in challenge to Netflix

Hulu is lowering the cost of its most basic subscription package, the company said on Wednesday, shortly after rival Netflix announced it would increase its prices and amid growing competition in the online streaming industry.

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Starting on Feb. 26, the platform’s ad-supported plan will cost $5.99 per month -- a decrease from the current $7.99. While Hulu’s commercial-free plan and its combo subscription with Spotify will remain at their current prices, the cost of the live TV offering will rise to $44.99 per month, from $39.99. Hulu disclosed at the end of 2018 that is has more than 25 million subscribers.

The price shifts come in advance of the Walt Disney Co.’s purchase of parts of 21st Century Fox, which owns a stake in Hulu. Comcast and AT&T also own a portion of the company.

TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %
NFLXNETFLIX INC.501.77+3.79+0.76%
DISWALT DISNEY COMPANY172.25+0.83+0.48%
FOXAFOX CORP.30.01-1.48-4.70%
CMCSACOMCAST CORP.48.84+0.15+0.32%
TAT&T INC.28.95-0.22-0.75%

The announcement also follows Netflix’s decision earlier this month to implement record price increases. The Los Gatos, California-based company is hiking the monthly cost of its most popular unlimited plan by 18 percent to $13 per month. Netflix, which has more than 79 million subscribers, is also increasing the cost of its most premium offering to $16 per month.

Competition among online content providers is expected to intensify, as Disney, AT&T and others prepare to launch new streaming services. Apple and Amazon are also investing heavily in original content.

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21st Century Fox is the parent company of FOX Business and Fox News. The company sold its entertainment assets to Disney in 2017 and the deal is expected to close in the first quarter which will create New Fox.

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