Disney+, Hulu, and ESPN+ Bundle to Take on Netflix

Posted on August 7, 2019 by Paul Thurrott in Apple TV+, Disney+, Netflix with 24 Comments

Disney announced that it will leverage its many assets to offer an inexpensive streaming bundle aimed directly at Netflix: It will bundle Disney+, the ad-supported version of Hulu, and ESPN+ into a $12.99/month bundle, a savings of $5 less than the individual services.

That price isn’t coincidental: $12.99 is the cost of market leader Netflix’s most popular monthly plan.

“Nothing is more important to us than getting this right,” Disney CEO Bob Iger said during a post-earnings conference call at which the bundle was announced. The bundle will launch in November when Disney+, the company’s new streaming service, goes live, he said.

Disney previously announced that Disney+, which will offer family-friendly content plus offerings from Disney’s vast range of properties like ABC, Pixar, Star Wars, and the Marvel comics universe, will cost just $6.99 per month. The ad-supported version of Hulu—the service now has over 28 million subscribers—is $5.99 per month. And ESPN+, which offers mostly sports that are not available on ESPN, costs $4.99 per month. So the bundle will save consumers who want all three $5 per month.

Disney is entering a crowded market that is about to get even more crowded thanks to Apple’s coming Apple TV+, plus new services from AT&T, Comcast, WarnerMedia/HBO, and others. But with this kind of pricing, and its incredible content library, Disney is about as close to a sure thing as is possible.

Disney+ debuts November 12 and will offer a 12-episode Star Wars series called The Mandalorian at launch, along with over 300 movies. The firm promises 25 new original series, over 10 new movies, 7,500 past TV show episodes, 100 recent movies, and 400 library titles including the entire Disney Vault in the first year alone.

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