Disney+ has confirmed that it will increase the price of its ad-free subscription tier later this year in the US.
The news was part of an announcement on Disney’s May 2023 earnings call that Disney+ and Hulu content is merging into one app. However, the two brands will stay as separate entities – meaning that Disney+ subscribers will still have to fork out extra money for Hulu if they want to access its content.
This is a similar model to what Amazon Prime Video offers with its Channels, where users pay an additional fee to subscribe to services like HBO Max, Lionsgate+ and MGM but within the Prime Video app.
This strategy differs from the international Disney+ platforms, which offer the majority of Hulu content via Star at no additional cost at the time of writing.
Here is CEO Bob Iger’s official statement on the merger:
“While we continue to offer Disney+, Hulu and ESPN+ as standalone options, this is a logical progression of our DTC [direct-to-consumer] offerings that will provide greater opportunities for advertisers, while giving bundle subscribers access to more robust and streamlined content, resulting in greater audience engagement and ultimately leading to a more unified streaming experience”.
Whilst Iger mentioned ESPN+ in his statement, there is no official word on whether this service will also operate on the same app as Disney+ and Hulu.
Iger did not clarify how much the Disney+ price increase will be, and didn’t specify when it exactly it will happen – just that it will come “later this year”, and will “better reflect the value of our content offerings.”
Here are the current US prices for Disney+ and Hulu as things stand:
Disney+ ad-free monthly subscription: $10.99 per month Disney+ ad-free annual subscription: $109.99 per year Disney+ ad-supported monthly subscription: $7.99 per month Hulu ad-free monthly subscription: $14.99 per month Hulu ad-supported monthly subscription: $7.99 per month Hulu ad-supported annual subscription: $79.99 per year Disney+, Hulu and ESPN+ bundle: $14.99 per monthDisney+ and Hulu ad-supported bundle: $9.99 per month
Disney did not clarify whether a price increase would also be coming internationally. The UK managed to avoid the last price hike that happened in America, as the ad-supported tier has still not been introduced anywhere else globally. Therefore, pricing as of May 2023 remains at £7.99 per month and £79.90 per year.
Disney+ is home to shows such as The Mandalorian and all the films in the MCU. Meanwhile, Hulu has more mature content on its platform, including Saint X and The Bear.