Following last year's price hike on its Live TV service, Hulu is now preparing to raise prices again. Starting on October 8, 2021, Hulu will raise the price for both its on-demand plans, Hulu and Hulu with No Ads. However, unlike the earlier price hike which had clocked in at $10 more per month for each of its two Live TV plans, the new price increase will be just $1.00.
That means the ad-supported version of Hulu will increase from $5.99 to $6.99 per month, while Hulu with No Ads will increase from $11.99 to $12.99 per month. This will apply to both existing and new subscribers. Hulu says none of the October increases will impact its Live TV service or any plan where Hulu is bundled with Disney+. (Disney took full control of Hulu after buying Comcast's stake in 2019).
Today, Hulu is offered with Disney+ and ESPN+ for $13.99 per month. This subtle shift in pricing for Hulu's standalone service may make that bundle look attractive to those not in the market for Hulu's live TV.
Hulu's on-demand service accounts for the majority of its subscriber base today. In Disney's fiscal third-quarter earnings, announced last month, Hulu's subscription video on-demand business had grown 22% year-over-year to reach 39.1 million subscribers, while its Live TV service (which also includes the on-demand offerings), had grown just 9% to reach 3.7 million subscribers. Combined, Hulu had 42.8 million total subscribers, up 21% compared to the same period from the prior year.
This is slower growth, however, than Disney+ -- that service saw more than 100% year-over-year growth, jumping from 57.7 million subscribers as of Disney's Q3 2020 to 116 million in Disney's Q3 2021.
Including Disney's EPSN+, the company's direct-to-consumer business had a total of nearly 174 million subscribers by the end of the quarter, the company said.
However, although Hulu trails Disney+ in subscriber count, it's ahead on average monthly revenue per user (ARPU).
In Q3, ARPU declined from $4.62 to $4.16 due to a higher mix of Disney+ Hotstar subscribers compared with the prior-year quarter, Disney said. Hulu's on-demand service, meanwhile, saw ARPU climb from $11.39 to $13.15 year-over-year and its Live TV service (+SVOD) grew from $68.11 to $84.09.
Hulu's on-demand business includes a combination of licensed content and original programming, like newer arrivals "Nine Perfect Strangers," "Only Murders in the Building" and "Vacation Friends." The company also just added thousands of Hotstar Specials and Bollywood hits, as of September 1.