Hulu is raising the monthly price of its live-TV streaming package from $54.99 to $64.99 starting Dec. 18, continuing a string of price hikes by online video services that offer an alternative to cable and satellite TV. The increase will apply to existing and new subscribers.
Hulu + Live TV debuted at $40 a month in mid-2017 but was up to $54.99 per month through December 2019. The new $64.99 monthly price is for a package with over 65 live channels plus access to Hulu’s ad-supported library of on-demand shows and movies.
Hulu also offers a Live TV plan with free access to its streaming library. The price of this package will increase from $60.99 to $70.99 per month. We are still here Live TV program without Hulu streaming librarywhich goes from $53.99 to $63.99.
Hulu sends notices of upcoming price changes to existing subscribers and confirms the change website yesterday The cheapest plan that includes only the ad-supported streaming library, without any live channels, will be available at $5.99 a month. The ad-free version will be available for $11.99. By comparison, Netflix programs vary from $8.99 to $17.99 per month after a price increase last month.
Hulu’s majority owner is The Walt Disney Company. Comcast has a 33-percent stake in the company, but Disney has full operational control since May 2019.
Money hikes around
Hulu’s latest price increase brings us in line with YouTube TV, which has risen in price from $35 in 2017 to $64.99 as of May 2020. AT&T TV Now starting at $55 a monthwhile the FuboTV family program starts at $64.99 per month. Sling TV starts at $30 per month.
Periodic fees have been an unfortunate fact of life for cable and satellite TV subscribers for decades. Customers can also save money by using the streaming service—AT&T charges a fee total $130.55 per customer each month on DirecTV and its other premium TV services, for example. But the pay hikes are annoying to the customers, as reaction to Hulu’s latest price increase show.
TV manufacturers generally blame the price hike on the rising cost of programming. But some of the big TV manufacturers have a lot of that programming themselves, so they can’t fully assume responsibility for price hikes. Disney, for example, owns ESPN, ABC, and other channels found on Hulu and other TV services.
Channel lineups and additional features can vary significantly by service, so it’s worth checking out the different live-TV options before settling on a streaming service. Although price movements reduce the popularity of streaming services, online platforms undoubtedly provide advantages over cable and satellite in terms of choice and convenience. Consumers have more options in online streaming, it’s easier to cancel and switch to another service, and pricing is generally more straightforward—with one notable exception in the form of AT&T TV.