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On Tuesday, Disney announced that it will offer a Disney+, Hulu, and ESPN+ bundle at $12.99 a month come November 12, offering at least a partial solution to the quintessential 21st-century problem of seemingly endless subscription charges. This also serves as a reminder to consumers that, yes, Disney owns just about everything.
According to the Verge, Disney CEO Bob Iger announced the bundle during an investors call after months of hinting at possible plans to unify the streaming services. Considering predictions have pegged two of the biggest names entering the streaming wars soon, NBCUniversal and HBO Max, at around $12 and $16 per month respectively, this seems like an awfully enticing way to get viewers to take a chance on Disney’s new streaming platform.
Hulu starts at $5.99 per month alone, while ESPN+, Disney’s streaming service for sports, costs $4.99 per month. A subscription to Disney+ by itself will only set you back $6.99 per month or $69.99 per year, making it an already competitive service in comparison to Netflix and Amazon Prime Video.
Instead of dividing content by genre, the app has five hubs based on some of the largest Disney-owned franchises: Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars, and National Geographic. The service will also be available on desktop and most other streaming devices. Iger reportedly called the streaming service “the most important product the company has launched in my tenure.”
For folks outside the U.S., though, this deal presents a lot of questions given regional licensing restrictions affecting both ESPN+ and Hulu. Unfortunately, those questions went unanswered; Iger reportedly told investors that Disney doesn’t have “anything to announce right now in terms of markets.”
It all points to Disney+ being a serious competitor when it enters an already bloated streaming market. Tacking on Hulu and ESPN+ is definitely a good move in trying to convince customers to part with yet another subscription fee. But it still won’t have Friends. So, points lost for that.
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H/T the Verge
Alyse Stanley is a video game and culture reporter based in Virginia with words at Polygon and USGamer. When she’s not writing about memes, she edits Unwinnable’s monthly magazine. You can follow her on Twitter @pithyalyse.