Starting October 12th, Disney Plus and Hulu are making some changes to their pricing plans. Disney Plus’ ad-free subscription, which used to cost $10.99 per month, is getting a slight makeover. Starting next month, it’ll be priced at $13.99 per month. So, you’ll be paying a little extra for that magical ad-free experience.
Switching gears to Hulu, that ad-free plan used to be $14.99 per month, but it’s getting bumped up to $17.99 per month starting on Oct. 12. You’ll still get all that great content without those pesky ads, but it’ll come at a slightly higher cost.
Additionally, Hulu’s Live TV plan is increasing in price. The ad-supported plan goes from $69.99/month to $76.99/month, and the ad-free plan goes from $82.99/month to $89.99/month.
But wait, there is good news. If you’re sticking with the ad-supported tiers of Hulu and Disney+, which are both currently priced at $7.99 per month, you’re in luck. Those prices are staying put for now. So, you can continue to enjoy your favorite shows and movies with a few ads sprinkled in, all without breaking the bank.
Why Does Disney Plus Deed the Price Hike?
The question that everyone is asking is “What does this price hike pay for?” We understand the cost of living crisis continues to affect everyone. The International Rescue Committee reported that, in the UK, “domestic gas prices increased by 96 percent and electricity by 54 percent” between 2021 and 2022, while Statistica reports a record inflation rate in the US in 2023.
So everything is more expensive. We get that. We also know that Disney+ has been losing subscribers. As reported by Deadline, the streaming platform closed Q1 “on April 1 with 157.8 million global subscribers, down 4 million from the prior quarter, with the biggest drag coming from Disney+ Hotstar, whose base shrunk by 8%.”
So, fewer people are using Disney+. Again, with the cost of living crisis and an overly saturated streaming market, we get that. Disney CEO Bob Iger, in Q4 of 2022, stated the intention for Disney to be profitable in its streaming market by the end of the 2024 fiscal year. But it isn’t all bad news for Disney. Per Deadline, the company “reduced losses in its streaming business by 26% (about $200 million) in its fiscal second quarter as the company’s overall results matched Wall Street expectations.”
But for those of us who are just looking to be entertained, while juggling all the price increases across our lives, it’s hard to see exactly what we’re getting for our money. No Film School reported on the content that was being removed from Disney+ and Hulu back in May, including Big Shot, Willow, Runaways, etc.
Why Remove More Content?
The removal of content from Disney Plus and Hulu means streaming services can reduce costs because they won’t have to pay residuals to actors and writers. But, as we have learned from the SAG-AFTRA strike, the amount that is paid in residuals is minimal. So, you have to wonder where else costs can be cut.
Maybe they don’t need as much gross profit. Macrotrends reports “Disney gross profit for the quarter ending June 30, 2023 was $7.859B, a 0.47% increase year-over-year” and “Disney gross profit for the twelve months ending June 30, 2023 was $28.776B, a 3.06% increase year-over-year.”
What exactly do they need almost $29 billion in profit for? What is happening with that money? Our society indeed judges the success of a business based on its profits, but that money has to actually do something. What does it mean if it just sits in a bank account? Or just exist as numbers on a spreadsheet?
It means more people having to choose between entertainment and food/heating/fuel…all of the other things we have to deal with in our day-to-day life. And no one is going to choose streaming over being able to eat. But we also need entertainment, and it’s becoming increasingly unreasonable to pay so much for all the services we have to have to keep up with the latest shows and movies.
Will you be sticking with Disney Plus and Hulu over the coming months? Or is this the last straw for you? Do we have too many streaming services? I know I yearn for the days when everything was on Netflix! Maybe it’s time for us to vote with our wallets and streamline our streaming. Let us know what you think on social media. Follow us for more content like this, we’re always watching.