As first reported by Engadget, Disney has announced that it plans to start bundling Disney+ and ESPN+ with all Hulu + Live TV plans, it doesn’t matter whether you want it that way or not.
The House of the Mouse emailed subscribers today to inform them of the change in plans. The change will bring a $5 per month price increase to all new and existing Hulu + Live TV subscribers.
Hulu + Live TV was sold as a standalone package, offering access to Hulu content as well as live TV. Starting on December 21, however, Disney will start bundling Disney+ and ESPN+ with all Hulu + Live TV plans.
And with the change, the price of Hulu + Live TV plans is increasing by $5 per month for both current and new customers. Come the 21st, the ad-supported tier will cost $69.99 per month, while the “no ads” package will cost $75.99 every 30 days. If you’re a Hulu + Live TV customer with an existing Disney+ and or ESPN+ subscription, those will roll into the new plan.
As the report explains, the context and timing around this change are important. When Disney reported earnings earlier this month, the company added just 2.1 million new Disney+ subscribers, far below the 9.4 million that analysts were expecting. By bundling Disney+ with all Hulu + Live TV customers, this gives the company a new way to boost Disney+ subscriber numbers.
As pointed out by Engadget, Disney’s latest earnings report may offer a clue as to the motivations behind the company’s actions. In Q4, the company added 2.1 million Disney+ subscribers, far fewer than the 9.4 million it had been expected to tally.