Disney’s first streaming bundle of multiple OTT services is coming down the pike, and it’ll cost the same as a standard Netflix subscription.
Later this year, the media company will offer customers access to its three OTT services: ad-supported Hulu; subscription sports-streaming service ESPN+; and Disney+, the soon-to-launch streaming service that will be home of family-friendly content from its Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars and National Geographic brands.
The bundled service will be available starting Nov. 12, the same day Disney+ is slated to debut, said Disney CEO Bob Iger, who announced the news Tuesday during Disney’s quarterly earnings call with investors.
The cost of the service bundle will come to $12.99 a month, the same price as a standard Netflix subscription and less than the $14.99 that a standalone HBO Now subscription costs. (WarnerMedia’s upcoming streaming service, HBO Max, is expected to be more than $15 per month.)
Individually, ESPN+ costs $4.99 a month while Hulu’s ad-supported tier costs subscribers $5.99 a month. When Disney+ becomes available in November, it is slated to cost $6.99 a month.
A Disney spokesperson said there were no plans to introduce a tier of the bundled services that includes an ad-free version of Hulu, which costs $11.99 per month, double the price of Hulu’s ad-supported offering.
The news comes about three months before the launch of Disney+ and as the streaming space becomes even more crowded and competitive as more companies including WarnerMedia and NBCUniversal prep their own streaming services.
Disney also continues to take on more control over Hulu as it slowly assumes complete financial ownership of the streaming service. About three months ago, Disney assumed full operational control of Hulu, and last week Disney said it would integrate Hulu’s original scripted drama and comedy teams into its own TV teams.
Iger said the bundle was part of a broader effort to attract customers to Disney’s direct-to-consumer offerings with three broad entry points: a general television offering from Hulu, a family-friendly offering from Disney+ and a sports-heavy offering from ESPN+.
“That bundle, where you can buy all three, offers subscribers tremendous volume, tremendous variety and tremendous quality for a great price,” Iger said.
Iger said the marketing campaign for Disney+ and the just-announced bundle will kick off later this month. Marketing will roll out on traditional and nontraditional channels, including digital and analog, across company platforms, and across touch points with existing Disney customers, like guests staying in Disney hotels, shoppers using Disney-branded credit cards, Disney theme park passholders and people who are members of its D23 fan club.
“It is going to be treated as the most important product the company has launched in my tenure at the job, which is quite a long time,” Iger said.
Attendees of the annual D23 expo later this month will get sneak previews of the streaming bundle’s offerings, including original content and demonstrations of the Disney+ app.
Talk of bundling streaming services has been brewing as the streaming space becomes more crowded and offerings remain fractured across different services and platforms. But the risk of of teaming up with competitors has so far meant there are no substantial streaming-only bundles.
Offering streaming services bundled with other subscriptions, however, is not unheard of. Earlier this year, Hulu partnered with Spotify to offer new customers an option to bundle both services for a combined $9.99 a month.