Aug 10, 2023, 12:08pm EDT
media

Streaming is getting more expensive. Will you keep paying?

The Disney+ logo on a phone.
Budrul Chukrut/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images
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The News

Streaming services are hiking up their prices. Ad-free access to Disney+ will now cost $14 a month this fall, up from $11. Ad-free Hulu is going up from $15 to $18.

We’ve curated reporting and analysis on what the price increases mean for the future of the industry.

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Insights

  • It’s the ”end of an era" for cheap streaming access, CNN’s Oliver Darcy declared, as Max, Paramount Plus, and Peacock have all increased their prices this year. With Disney+ now costing twice what it did when it launched four years ago, it’s a sign of the changing media landscape, as companies abandon ad-free models at “too-good-to-be-true, one-size-fits-all prices,” Darcy wrote.
  • The question of how much people will pay for streaming services, and how many they’ll pay for, is ”pretty uncharted,” Semafor’s Ben Smith told CNBC. “Disney at $7 a month is the tax you pay so that every child in America can watch the Lion King once a month. At $14, I think there are probably some people who turn that off,” Smith said.
  • The return of Bob Iger as Disney’s CEO hasn’t turned around the company’s slump just yet — its stock is still down and it lost 300,000 domestic Disney+ subscribers. But the price hikes are among Iger’s first strategic moves, Dan Gallagher wrote in The Wall Street Journal. In doing so, Disney is ”acting like Netflix," which has introduced new pricing and was rewarded by investors for it.
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