Death. Taxes. All your streaming services getting a little more expensive all the time. These are the new certainties in life, it seems.
In recent years, as the streaming TV and movie business has gotten more competitive and companies around Hollywood have thrown billions into building their own platforms and libraries in order to compete with Netflix, participating in the streaming era has gotten steadily more expensive. Netflix has raised the cost of its subscription multiple times since its launch. Disney Plus, Hulu, and ESPN Plus have all gotten more expensive as Disney has invested more in streaming. Paramount Plus, Peacock, Shudder, Starz — practically any service you can name — charges more per month than it did a few years ago. Even as many of these services add ads to their platforms, they’re still charging more.
What’s behind all this wallet-raiding? A confluence of things. As more customers cancel cable, more quickly than anyone expected, the studios and distributors are looking for a way to make up the lost revenue. Good shows and movies are more in demand — and thus more expensive — than ever. And after a decade of spending money like it was going out of style because all investors cared about were subscriber numbers, Hollywood players of all sizes have found themselves needing to actually make money to stay in business.
Companies are looking for any way they can to improve their bottom line. They’re cracking down on password sharing, canceling shows for the tax breaks, and even selling their prized content to other platforms. But the most common strategy is simply to charge you, the viewer, more. A dollar here, two dollars there. Add it all up, and the golden era of TV suddenly has a pretty startling ticket price.
We’re tracking all the price increases and other changes from streaming services so you can make sure you’re only paying for what you want. (We’ll also include discounts and deals, though those seem to happen less and less.) Here’s the latest:
When HBO Max transformed into Max back in May, Warner Bros. Discovery said that existing subscribers on the ad-free plan would be able to hang onto certain perks (like 4K streaming) for at least the next six months without needing to spend more money. Well, we’re about to hit that six-month mark, and right on cue, the party’s over. That’s all, folks.Read Article >
Max is emailing affected customers, letting them know that while their monthly price of $15.99 will remain the same moving forward, they’ll be losing a couple of perks on or after December 5th.
There was a moment, in 2019, when streaming services were one heck of a deal. Apple TV Plus was free if you bought any kind of Apple device; you could get Disney Plus for $4 per month and lock that price in for three years; Hulu lowered its price to stay competitive; and you could share your Netflix account with as many friends, family members, roommates, and exes as you liked.Read Article >
Those days are now far behind us. This year alone, all of the major names in streaming — Netflix, Hulu, Disney Plus, Max, Apple TV Plus, Paramount Plus, and Peacock — have raised their prices. Netflix’s most expensive plan has officially crossed the $20 threshold, and other services are steadily headed in that direction. The price of streaming is at an all-time high.
Apple is raising the prices of several of its services, including Apple TV Plus, Apple Arcade, Apple News Plus, and Apple One. Apple TV Plus is going from $6.99 per month to $9.99 per month, and Apple’s other services are seeing significant hikes, too. MacRumors first spotted the changes.Read Article >
Instead of $4.99 per month, Apple Arcade will now cost $6.99 per month. Meanwhile, Apple News Plus is increasing from $9.99 per month to $12.99 per month. With all three services getting price increases, that means the Apple One bundle is going up as well.
Netflix is getting another price increase. As part of the streamer’s third quarter earnings results, Netflix announced that starting today, users on its $9.99 per month Basic plan will now have to pay $11.99, and those paying $19.99 per month for Premium will have to pay $22.99. Netflix’s $6.99 ad-supported plan and $15.49 Standard tier will stay the same price.Read Article >
Netflix last raised its prices in January 2022 and it closed off access to the $9.99 Basic ad-free plan to new and relapsed users in July, forcing everyone to fork out more even if they only want to avoid ads.
Enjoying Starfield on GeForce Now, where the cloud gaming service is one of the best ways to play? Starting November 1st, it’ll cost you $6 more in Canada, £2 more in the UK, or an additional €2 in Europe per month for the must-have Ultimate plan. Six-month plans are going up by $20 CAD, £10, and €10, respectively.Read Article >
Nvidia spokesperson Jordan Dodge tells me the United States is currently exempt from the price changes. “No price change happening in the US,” he says.
The monthly price of ad-free Discovery Plus is jumping up in cost from $6.99 per month to $8.99 per month (plus taxes), Warner Bros. Discovery announced on Tuesday. The new price is effective Tuesday, meaning that if you’re already a subscriber, you’ll see the higher price on your “next billing cycle on or after November 2,” the company says. The streaming service’s “ad-lite” tier will stay the same price, meaning you can still get it for $4.99 per month.Read Article >
Discovery Plus gives you access to more than 70,000 episodes of shows from networks like TLC, HGTV, Discovery, and Lifetime, meaning it’s a great choice for people looking to watch reality shows and unscripted series. Just read my colleague Emma Roth’s article about why she pays for Discovery Plus to get an idea of what’s on offer. And since you can’t get all Discovery Plus content on Max, Warner Bros. Discovery’s other streaming service, there’s still a reason to pay for the now-more-expensive price for the Discovery-focused subscription.
Netflix is planning to increase the cost of its streaming service yet again, according to a report from The Wall Street Journal. The streamer will reportedly issue the price hike a “few months” after the Hollywood actors strike ends, which could happen in the coming weeks.Read Article >
As reported by the WSJ, Netflix will raise prices in “several markets globally,” starting with the US and Canada. It’s still not clear how much Netflix will raise prices, and Netflix declined to comment. Netflix raised prices across all of its plans last year, bringing the ad-free Standard tier to $15.49 / month and the Premium plan to $19.99 / month. The company also rolled out a $6.99 / month ad-supported plan and later axed its mid-tier $9.99 / month basic ad-free plan.
AMC Networks says it’s introducing an ad-supported version of its AMC Plus streaming service. The plan will cost $4.99 per month and provide users access to the same content library as the $8.99 ad-free version.Read Article >
According to the press release, the service’s “light” ad load will be limited to “less than five minutes per hour.” Series and films included on AMC Plus include The Walking Dead: Daryl Dixon, Dark Winds, and Interview with a Vampire, as well as classics like Mad Men. The ad-supported version will also enable access to Shudder, Sundance Now, and IFC Films Unlimited.
It feels like every few months, another streaming service announces that it will be increasing its subscription rates. Paramount Plus and HBO Max have already done so this year, and Disney Plus and Hulu with Live TV are slated to follow suit next month with price hikes of their own.Read Article >
Before you panic and hit “unsubscribe,” however, take a deep breath. As it turns out, some of these services are currently running a few promos, all of which can help you save some money on either a monthly or annual subscription. What’s more, some of these are available to both new and returning subscribers alike — a rarity in the streaming space.
I’m not going to lie: it sucks that Disney Plus is going to increase the price of its ad-free plan next month. But today, Disney softened the blow somewhat. First, the company introduced a new ad-free Disney Plus and Hulu plan for $19.99 per month, which is about $12 cheaper than buying both separately. And now — even better — Disney’s offering a good Disney Plus deal.Read Article >
Through September 20th, new and eligible returning subscribers can get three months of Disney Plus (with ads) for $1.99 per month instead of $7.99 a month. Altogether, that’s $18 in savings, which is kind of like getting two months free.
Starz has lowered its annual subscription price from $74.99 a year to $69.99, Cord Cutters first reported and TechCrunch later confirmed. Starz emailed its subscribers the news on August 29th, explaining existing members will see the change in price on their next bill.Read Article >
It’s not clear why Starz, which is home to TV shows like Outlander, The Serpent Queen, and Minx, made the move, but it’s a welcome one. Alison Hoffman, president of domestic networks at Starz, only told TechCrunch via email that “as one of the few streaming networks that is profitable, we are always looking for ways to drive success for the business while providing great value to our customers.”
Everyone’s long-standing concerns about the streaming space being a bubble on the verge of popping have proven to be more than warranted over the past few months as two of Hollywood’s ongoing labor strikes have raged on. But with the most recent round of services like Disney Plus, Hulu, Peacock, and Paramount Plus raising their prices — during Hollywood’s ongoing double labor strike, no less — to meet the demand of shareholders for never-ending profits, the time has come for all of us to seriously rethink our relationships with the platforms that have become “the new cable.”Read Article >
Over the weekend, the Financial Times published a bit of analysis about the current state of streaming that should only come as a surprise to those who haven’t been paying attention to how most of the major Subscription Video On Demand (SVOD) platforms, and many smaller ones like Starz, Shudder, and BritBox, have hiked up their prices in the past year. In 2022, “a basket of the top US streaming services” would run you about $73 per month, but the same assortment of plans will now cost around $87 this fall — a figure that sits just above the $83 price tag the average US monthly cable plan comes with.
Disney is once again raising the ad-free prices of both Disney Plus and Hulu this fall. Beginning on October 12th, Disney Plus will cost $13.99 per month, while Hulu’s no-ads tier will run $17.99. The ad-sponsored tiers of both services will (for now) each remain $7.99.Read Article >
Perhaps to ease that blow, the company is introducing a new combo subscription that will bundle ad-free experiences for both Disney Plus and Hulu for $19.99 per month. That plan will be available on September 6th.
Peacock added just 2 million subscribers over the past three months, bringing the service up to 24 million subscribers in the US. That number was included in Comcast’s earnings report today, which says Peacock nearly doubled its subscribers year over year.Read Article >
In addition to the small bump in subscribers, Peacock’s revenue grew 85 percent year over year to $820 million. The service still lost $651 million, however, up from $467 million at the same time last year.
There are more streaming choices than ever before, and now Peacock has joined the list of services that are getting even more expensive.Read Article >
A media update reported by Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, and The Streamable confirmed prices for both of its streaming plans are going up, effective August 17th for existing customers, with the cheaper Premium plan going up by $1 each month, from $4.99 to $5.99, and the Premium Plus package that gets rid of ads on most content and adds downloads for offline viewing along with access to live, local NBC channels is going up by $2, from $9.99 to $11.99 per month.
Paramount Plus will go up in price on June 27th. That’s when the company plans on launching its new Paramount Plus with Showtime integration, bringing the price of its existing ad-supported essential plan from $4.99 to $5.99 per month and its premium plan from $9.99 to $11.99, the latter of which will now include Showtime.Read Article >
Previously, Paramount Plus had two separate premium plans: one without Showtime, for $9.99 per month, and another with Showtime, for $11.99 per month. These changes do away with that intermediate plan, which offered just Paramount Plus content and ad-free streaming without Showtime. The service will continue to offer its essential plan without Showtime and with ads.
Nov 29, 2022
Streaming services just keep creeping up in price. Netflix, Hulu, Disney Plus, ESPN Plus, and Apple TV Plus all announced price hikes this year, which means we’re forced to have to pay more money to keep up with the shows that are actually relevant, like Andor or Stranger Things.Read Article >
The truth is, this trend isn’t going to stop anytime soon. Streaming services need to raise their prices or embrace advertising if they want to meet investors’ expectations. They’re just going to have to risk losing subscribers who don’t want to pay these jacked-up prices along the way.
Disney has announced that it’s raising the price of Disney Plus to $10.99 / month, up from its current price of $7.99 / month, starting December 8th in the US. The move comes as the company is looking to restructure its pricing options, which will soon include a $7.99 / month ad-supported tier.Read Article >
Disney’s also raising the price of its Hulu subscription. The ad-free tier will jump from $12.99 / month to $14.99, while the ad-supported version will cost $7.99 / month, up from $6.99. The new pricing goes into effect on October 10th. A price hike for unbundled ESPN Plus streaming was announced in July, taking the monthly price from $6.99 to $9.99 / month.
Jan 20, 2022
Every year, the cost of streaming gets more and more expensive — and just last week, prices started going up again. Netflix announced that all of its tiers would get an immediate price hike for new subscribers, boosting its most expensive plan to $20 per month. It’s the third price increase since 2019.Read Article >
At $15.50 per month, Netflix’s standard tier now slightly out-prices HBO Max ($15 per month) and the Disney Bundle (which includes ESPN Plus and Hulu for $14 per month), making it one of the most expensive on-demand streaming options among leading services. If you want 4K, it gets even pricier. That’s not an insignificant amount of money, considering people tend to have around four paid streaming subscriptions, according to recent data from Deloitte.
Dec 11, 2020
Disney Plus is following Netflix and introducing a $1 price hike for subscribers in the United States, raising it to $7.99 a month.Read Article >
The move comes after a lengthy presentation showing what Disney is bringing to Disney Plus in the next year. The price hike will begin on March 26, 2021, coming in at $7.99 per month or $79.99 per year. Also, the Disney bundle — that has Disney Plus, Hulu, and ESPN Plus — will see a $1 increase to $13.99 a month.