Disney has now confirmed an even more aggressive plan to attack the streaming market than what was previously understood as it will be offering a bundle package that brings together access to Disney+, ESPN+ and Hulu for just $12.99 per month.
The new Disney+ streaming service is due to go live in the U.S. on November 12, 2019 and it now looks as though the bundle option will be available from launch, providing consumers with a more streamlined and content-rich option from the beginning.
The information on this was provided by the Disney's CEO, Bob Iger, during an investors call following the release of its third fiscal quarter earnings report.
There had already been multiple suggestions made publicly that a bundle plan was on the cards although details such as the pricing remained an unknown. With today's announcement not only confirming the bundle is happening, but also the price, it is clear that Disney is going all-in on an approach that leans heavily on offering as much content, for as low of a cost to consumers as possible.
Disney had already confirmed access to the Disney+ streaming service alone would be priced at $6.99 per month, while ESPN+ and Hulu can currently be subscribed to at a rate of $4.99 and $5.99 per month, respectively.
Once the bundle goes live, those subscribing to all three services will see the collective cost coming down from $17.97 to $12.99. Another way of looking at this is those who pay for Disney+ and Hulu will get ESPN+ for free each month.
While it is clear that consumers are feeling overwhelmed with the number of subscriptions, the approach taken here will likely remedy that issue for some. One of the reasons why Disney is bundling these specific three services together is that they ideally cater to different viewers. Therefore, Disney is essence offering a package that reduces the number of subscriptions needed while offering a product that caters equally to families as a whole, and on an individual family member level.
What's more, the price is so aggressive that it will likely put even more pressure on the streaming subscription competition, including those previously through untouchable. For example, Netflix recently upped the price and now charges new and existing subscribers $12.99 per month for the "standard" plan. Disney's announcement today confirms the bundled subscription package will go directly head-to-head with Netflix on pricing in the U.S.
Then there's HBO Max. This is one of the new video-based services coming from AT&T with the company expected to launch the Max service in select cities before the end of this year. It is understood HBO Max will also look to cater to the entire family in a similar way to the Disney/ESPN/Hulu bundle, but in contrast HBO Max is expected to arrive priced at $16 per month – at a minimum.
What's more, HBO Max is unlikely to be able to cater to sports as well as this bundle will, although AT&T has suggested that may change in the future as it looks to add access to live sports and news.
In the meantime, the Disney/ESPN/Hulu bundle will appeal to a lot of consumers and not only those who were already expected to sign up to Disney+ irrespective, but also those that are already paying almost half the amount for just access to either ESPN+ or Hulu.