The Walt Disney Company’s latest quarterly earnings call included an announcement to investors that appears to take dead aim at Netflix: an all-Disney, three-service streaming bundle for $12.99/month, coming November 12.
The bundle will see three wholly owned Disney services—Disney+, ESPN+, and “ad-supported” Hulu—available as a combined online-streaming bundle once Disney+ launches in November.
Separately, the services’ asking prices add up to $17.97 ($6.99, $5.99, and $4.99, respectively), thus marking a 27% discount for the whole shebang.
That $12.99 price matches Netflix’s “standard” service tier (which includes 1080p resolution and support for up to two simultaneous streams). Only one of Disney’s bundled services, Disney+, includes support for higher-resolution video, but that comes as a free upgrade for supported streaming devices. Netflix’s 4K offering requires upgrading to a $15.99/mo. plan. Should Netflix subscribers want to save money, they can downgrade to an $8.99 “basic” plan, which tops out at 480p resolution and only one device at a time.
Those Netflix prices, by the way, all increased roughly $2/mo. for each tier in January.
In his announcement of the planned bundle, Disney CEO Bob Iger did not specify whether a pricier bundle will be available for fans of Hulu’s more expensive, ad-free streaming option ($11.99/mo), let alone Hulu’s live-video option ($44.99/mo). Iger was clear that this bundle is limited to consumers in the United States—which serves as a firm reminder that ESPN+ and Hulu are currently hamstrung for consumers in the rest of the world, particularly our neighbors in Canada. (“We have designs on growing Hulu outside the United States, but no update on that right now,” Iger said during Tuesday’s call.)
The aggressive pricing announcement comes as the video-streaming sector heats up, what with NBC Universal and HBO readying their own standalone products (and aggressively reclaiming content by way of corporate ownership along the way). Prices for those two companies’ upcoming services have not been announced.