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Disney increases pricing of cord-cutting Hulu with Live TV service

Disney has reportedly upped the price of its Hulu with Live TV cord-cutting service, bringing it on a par to Google’s YouTube TV.

According to a report from The Hollywood Reporter, the service’s base cost will increase by US$10 to US$64.99. The price increase will be implemented on December 18, exactly one year after the company previously increased the monthly subscription by US$10 – meaning that the service has increased in cost by almost 50% over the course of 24 months.

The company will also increase the cost of the ad-free version of Hulu and live TV by the same amount from US$60.99 per month to US$70.99 per month. (This tier includes ads for the live TV portion of the service, but the ad-free version of the Hulu SVOD which costs US$11.99 as a standalone streamer).

The service includes access to Disney’s Hulu streamer, along with a catalogue of channels from the country’s four major broadcasters (ABC, CBS, Fox and NBC).

Hulu with live TV has seen solid growth in 2020, ending the company’s financial year with 4.1 million subscribers. This is an increase of 41% from the 2.9 million at the end of 2019, with this service continuing to grow at a faster rate than the base Hulu SVOD (which increased by 27% year-over-year).

Speaking of the service during the company’s most recent earnings call, Disney CEO Bob Chapek was positive, saying that “it really gives the utility that consumers might normally find from the cable or satellite subscriber and be able to get it over-the-top directly to their homes.”

He described it as “really slick [and] very elegant” and as “really the complete solution.”

However, while the service may continue to increase its offering and user experience, the benefits of Hulu with Live TV – along with its competitors – are appearing to dwindle as they up their prices.

The services like YouTube TV, Hulu with Live TV and AT&T TV Now were launched as low-cost alternatives to traditional pay TV operators. However, some consumers may be turned off from the services as they continue to rise in price to similar levels as the traditional players they were looking to usurp.