Hulu Raises Price for Live TV Bundle, Discounts Ad-Supported Offering
Hulu's cheapest option is now $6 per month, while its live TV bundle will set customers back $45 per month.
Hulu's live television bundle is getting more expensive, but cost-conscious consumers are getting a break on the streamer's cheapest plan.
A one-month subscription to Hulu's 60-channel TV bundle will now set customers back $45 per month. That's a $5 increase from the current pricing and comes as the company has added more channels to the offering. When it launched in March 2017, the live TV bundle cost $40 and had around 50 channels.
The on-demand service, meanwhile, is getting a price cut. It will now cost $6 per month to subscribe to Hulu with ads, a $2 discount from the previous price. The ad-free offering remains the same at $12 per month.
The price changes make Hulu one of the cheaper options for on-demand programming. That $6 fee includes access to more than 85,000 episodes of television and thousands of movies. It also includes originals like The Handmaid's Tale and Castle Rock. Netflix, on the other hand, recently announced that it would raise the price of its plans. It now starts at $9 per month and its most popular option is increasing to $13 per month.
On the live TV side, Hulu's is becoming a bit more expensive than $40 per month offerings from YouTube TV and DirecTV Now. But a subscription also comes with access to the streamer's on-demand product, which when subtracted from the price of the bundle service would put Hulu back in line with the other offerings on the market. Hulu also is discounting its premium live TV add-ons — enhanced cloud DVR and unlimited screens — to a flat $10 extra per month.
Hulu, which will become majority owned by Disney after its deal to acquire the Fox assets is finalized, has been growing rapidly in the U.S. in recent years. In January, the Randy Freer-led company announced that it had passed 25 million subscribers, over a million of which pay for the live TV bundle. By discounting its on-demand pricing plan, it could be looking for an upper hand against Netflix, which has seen its domestic growth slow as it nears market saturation. (Hulu is currently only available in the U.S., though it will likely look to expand internationally once the Disney deal closes.)
The pricing changes will go into effect Feb. 26 for new subscribers and on subsequent bills for existing subscribers.