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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Comments (24)

24 responses to “Disney+, Hulu, and ESPN+ Bundle to Take on Netflix”

  1. chocolate starfish

    Ad supported version of Hulu! There's the problem. Why anyone pays to see ads is puzzling to me.

    Netflix is ad free, at least in my country Australia.

    Either you pay for ads or you don't! There is no middle ground imho.

  2. lvthunder

    I wonder if they will make Disney+ and Apple TV channel like HBO, Showtime, and CBS All Access are? The TV app could be useful if all the apps used it.

  3. richfrantz

    I left Hulu when they started charging me to watch ads. I will not.

  4. gandalforce

    Will they make Disney+ an add on for Hulu?

  5. mikes_infl

    We've taken to using streaming services in a seasonal fashion. When a few of the shows we want to watch have finished the 2nd or 3rd season, then we subscribe for a month or two on the service that provides those shows. When we're done, we either cancel or put the service in vacation mode depending on what they offer.

    Instead of watching the shows as they trickle out, and then later find that it was cancelled anyway, we watch the whole show a few episodes at a time until it's over. We find it much nicer this way and have less frustration from those interesting shows that get dropped.

  6. Lordbaal

    Disney own Hulu, so why would they put all their stuff on Hulu, instead of creating their own streaming service?

    • Steven Ball

      In reply to Lordbaal:

      I wondered the same thing. Disney announced their streaming service before the Hulu acquisition, so maybe they didn't want to rollback the work that had been already done. Also the stand-alone service might be more enticing to parents that don't want Hulu.

  7. glenn8878

    I cancelled many streaming services. Largely terrible and disappointing content and some spotty service. Disney won’t be the exception. I already tried Hulu. I tried Espn as a Spectrum streaming service. Nothing to watch. They should be cheap enough as an on demand service. $5 a month is probably worth it.

  8. skane2600

    I see how this could be an attractive bundle to big sports fans but if you're not one of them, it's not very attractive. IMO Hulu is a 2nd-tier streaming service at best.

  9. docpaul

    Do you know the price for the bundle with ad-free Hulu?

    • Skolvikings

      In reply to DocPaul:

      I have the ad-free Hulu too. Hopefully there’s a bundle that is just $6 more than the one they announced.

    • jgraebner

      In reply to DocPaul:

      They didn't say, but it is currently $6 extra for ad-free. With their large selection of current broadcast shows, I'm pretty sure that Hulu's licensing costs are the highest in the industry. I'm guessing they won't be able to reduce the ad-free premium too much for the bundle, but I hope they at least offer it as an add-on. Separately, Hulu Premium (no-ads), Disney+, and Hulu+ would be $23.97/month. If they offer Hulu Premium as a $6 add-on to the bundle, that would be $18.99/month.

  10. hellcatm

    I wish you could take out the ESPN + and pay $8.99

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