In this year of massive cord-cutting, with American households getting rid of cable and turning to Internet plus streaming services like never before, many have begun to notice that cord-cutting isn’t as cheap as it used to be. This is especially true for those who have opted to subscribe to vMVPDs, the “skinny bundle” services like YouTube TV, Sling TV, Fubo TV and Hulu + Live TV. Many of those services are finding that many of the same forces that have historically pushed cable bills upward—namely, the rising costs of programming—are starting to do the same for the newer bundles.
Now, yet another one of those is getting a price hike.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the Disney-owned Hulu + Live TV is raising the price of its service by $10 per month, to $65 per month. The increase gives the Hulu offering the same monthly price as YouTube TV, the Google-owned service that announced a 30 percent price hike in late June. That hike, as well as one by Fubo TV around the same time, came along with the arrival of new channels, although Hulu’s increase did not. Meanwhile, Sling TV announced at the beginning of July that it was pledging to not raise prices for a year.
The Hulu + Live TV price hike will apply to both new and existing customers and will go into effect December 18. The monthly price is not changing for the regular Hulu streaming service.
The company announced the change in an email to customers, such as one obtained by Engadget.
“As we continue to refine the Hulu + Live TV experience, we’re reaching out to let you know the price of your Hulu + Live TV plan will increase from $54.99 a month to $64.99 a month,” the email said. “Hulu + Live TV continues to the only live TV streaming service that offers an entire on-demand streaming library, including more than 70,000 TV episodes and movies, and award-winning Hulu Originals.”
Disney, which took full control of Hulu last year, announced its quarterly earnings last week. In addition to announcing that its Disney+ streaming service had reached 73.7 million subscribers in its first year, the company said that Hulu + Live TV had reached 4.1 million subscribers. That represented a 41 percent increase for Hulu + Live TV over the same quarter the year before. Also, that increase gave the service more than one million more subscribers than YouTube TV, which is the second largest vMVPD.
Disney, after announcing a restructuring earlier this fall that emphasizes its streaming efforts, announced that it now has more than 100 million subscribers over its three primary streaming services, Disney+, Hulu, and the sports streaming service ESPN+.
Stephen Silver, a technology writer for The National Interest, is a journalist, essayist and film critic, who is also a contributor to Philly Voice, Philadelphia Weekly, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Living Life Fearless, Backstage magazine, Broad Street Review and Splice Today. The co-founder of the Philadelphia Film Critics Circle, Stephen lives in suburban Philadelphia with his wife and two sons. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenSilver.