Disney+ is raising prices in March, Netflix has a January price hike: inevitable?

Last week, Disney dropped a bunch of new trailers and announcements that got me really excited for the Spring. Plus everyone is talking about the new season of The Mandalorian that’s streaming. And there are major Disney projects under the Star Wars, Marvel and live action cartoon divisions filming – it’s just electrifying right now. They hooked us with the lineup, now’s the time to tell us it’s going to cost us. Disney+ is raising its fees in March, and we should brace ourselves for another price hike after that. And it sounds like all those fabulous – and expensive – new shows and films are to blame.

Disney threw down the gauntlet to its competitors last week, with a slate of remarkable programming on Disney+ alongside some eye-popping subscriber numbers and forecasts.

Fans of Disney+ will have roughly 10 new series from Marvel and Star Wars alongside a cornucopia of other content. Disney plans on spending between $14 billion and $16 billion across its streaming ventures to make all those shows and movies.

Someone has to pay for all that content — and that someone is probably you, the customer. If Disney wants to achieve its forecast of hitting profitability in fiscal 2024, it has to raise prices.

It said it will do that in March. And, after that, it’ll likely have to do it again.

“Increasingly streaming, in general, is taking a greater share of the consumer’s wallet,” Bernie McTernan, a senior analyst at Rosenblatt Securities, told CNN Business

[From CNN]

I wish they’d let me sit with my “Imma bout to see some Loki and Falcon” glow for at least a week before this buzzkill, but I guess I’m not too surprised by this news. And they aren’t alone. Netflix, who has greatly benefitted from folks locked in their homes, is also increasing their prices. They’re also citing the quality of their content as the reason we have to pay more. CNN hypothesized that if the HBO/Warners deal extended into a permanent arrangement, HBO would also have to increase fees to accommodate the first run film option. And Apple and Amazon are probably right behind.

I ventured into the online networks over the weekend and even they are not delivering as promised. When Peacock was being pumped, it was free. Half the stuff I wanted to watch was only available with a paid premium subscription. At least CBS is finally offering some free content with an upgrade to CBS AllAccess for full content. It’s confusing. Plus, I’m sure if I went through and totaled up all the streaming services I currently subscribe to, I’d owe Quibi an apology for mocking their fees. I don’t even watch all these silly channels, I just want them in case. On Friday I logged into Disney+ for the third time since it launched to watch that movie Godmothered. The last time I’d been there was to watch Beyoncé’s Black is King last summer. Same thing with Apple TV, I’ve watched two shows on it but I loved them so much I can’t think of getting rid of it. And I can’t figure out how many actual HBO subscriptions I have between regular, Go, Now and Max – it’s nuts. I still couldn’t find anything I wanted to watch the other day! So yes, please, charge me more for this headache. That’s what I need.

Photo credit: Disney and Twitter

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31 Responses to “Disney+ is raising prices in March, Netflix has a January price hike: inevitable?”

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  1. Neners says:

    I only subscribe when a “flagship show” that I know I have to see comes back. Over the month or so I have the channel, I watch everything that looks interesting. When the show ends, I cancel again. Still way cheaper than cable.

    • megs283 says:

      Same. I subscribed to STARZ for Outlander, and then didn’t renew once my amazing steal of a deal ran out.

    • Ariel says:

      Same. I got HBO (not the max version) for I’ll Be Gone in the Dark, and kept it longer than i intended to because The Vow was so good. But i cancelled it after that.
      I have Disney right now because the boyfriend enjoys the Mandalorian, and i enjoy old Christmas cartoons from my childhood- but we’ll get rid of that shortly.

      We never found anything on Hulu that we enjoyed, so that is gone (and we had starz for a month or two at $2 price, but rarely found anything on that).

      I keep Prime- b/c i have an online shopping addiction (and Buffy is now there- which also reduced the need for hulu), netflix, and boomerang (again with the cartoons from my childhood). And CBS All Access for Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders show old episodes, and keeping it another month because i am interested in The Stand which starts in a few days.

      Thinking of adding HBO Max b/c i usually do a movie and Chinese food on Christmas day, but the theatre is out of the question this year- so Wonder Woman 1984 on the TV seems like a good substitute.

      I guess the moral of the story is- if you can remember to cancel the stuff when you’re done with what you like- you can keep the price down.

      • Julie says:

        Thank you for the Buffy heads up! Just added it to my list, I have an Online shopping addiction too 😬😬

    • Case says:

      I don’t have cable, just subscriptions. I split Netflix, Disney+, and Prime year round with my parents, get Hulu when I want to watch specific things, and YouTubeTV for award season. I also split HBO Max with a friend. It works out to not a lot of money for a ton of selection. The most expensive subscription is YouTubeTV for $64 a month, but well worth it so I can watch my award shows over a few months before pausing the subscription for the summer.

      Side note: Netflix puts out some good shows, but not enough to justify hiking prices the way they do.

  2. Courtney B says:

    I’m streaming’s bitch at this point. I have Hulu with the cable package add ons (which are all the channels I watched anyway) plus hbo and bundled with Disney+. Then I have amazon with my prime subscription and added showtime, Sundance, EPIX, starz and PBS/Masterpiece. Then there’s Apple TV (which was free this year since bought a new apple device but we’ll see if I keep it. I’d wanted it primarily for Defending Jacob but there were some others I watched since I had it.) Netflix, thankfully comes with our T-Mobile plan. It’s still cheaper than my cable package though.

  3. Wiglet Watcher says:

    If the vaccine is as effective as they’re saying this will backfire. I’ll cancel or subscribe down to lower packages. Everyone will want to be outside by next summer when that will be more likely.

    As far as original quality… it was good once. Now it’s just everything.

    • Case says:

      With cases as high as they are in the US, 160k more people will die in the first six months the vaccine is out. Most people won’t even get vaccinated until summer, and the two doses are spaced (I think) a month apart, so I don’t think summer 2021 is going to be that wild of a time.

      • MsIam says:

        Agree. I think Fauci said at least 100 million people need to get vaccinated for us to be considered “safe” whatever that means. I’m assuming he means being able to go out and congregate without restrictions. So yeah looks like most of 2021 may be a bust too.

  4. Cee says:

    Disney+ just launched in LatinAmerica and I paid a full year subscription fee just to make sure I don’t fall prey to their price hikes. Between Disney+, Netflix and Prime Video, I already spend a nice sum on streaming services. Thankfully I don’t have cable so I can rationalize paying more.

    • Emm says:

      We have those three too and nothing else. Amazon is because I’ve had Amazon prime since it first started I think plus the content has gotten a lot better. Netflix we’ve also had since it first started, since the dvds in the mail! Disney + we got when it first came out because we have a bunch of young kids stuck at home so I don’t see getting rid of that and I also love watching my old favorites from childhood, shows and movies. And we love the mandalorian and introducing my oldest to Star Wars has been fun. We don’t have cable either but Comcast internet is a monopoly and getting stupid expensive even without cable because they know we are all streaming.

  5. Allygator says:

    The content between the different HBO subscriptions is all the same, except some subscriptions offer you additional content (but still contains everything from lower levels). It’s mostly about where your HBO subscription originates and how to access it.. There is absolutely no reason to be separately purchasing all of those subscriptions, and if you are you should probably pay more attention to what you’re buying.

  6. Ann says:

    What a time to not be a Disney or Star Wars fan. I’m going to buy weed with all the money I save. If Hulu prices go up I’ll join in the lamenting. The current amount I spend to binge watch housewives and Seinfeld is sufficient.

  7. megs283 says:

    We subscribe to Hulu & HBO, Netflix, Prime, and Disney+. The Disney+ subscription was a gift last year, but with two young kids, it’s a must-have, so we’ll be renewing it. I’m a grad student so I have a student rate for Prime.

  8. Nicole says:

    I’ve been on the fence about cancelling Netflix for the last year. They better have some premium content coming out as fast as I can watch it, otherwise I think I’ll stick with Hulu and Disney +. Hulu has my old favorites and Disney + is putting shows out as fast as I can watch them.

  9. Digital Unicorn says:

    It was inevitable as there is more demand and given that they are losing massive chunks of theatre revenue.

    i hope its not massive price hike.

  10. Snuffles says:

    Disney+ is about to have everyone by the balls with all of their upcoming exclusive content. Especially the Marvel stuff! So, yes, worth every penny. Ans I streamed Netflix and Hulu like crazy even before the pandemic. I use Hulu to watch network TV shows on my own time. Netflix has amazing original content and I’m planning on watching EVERYTHING Marvel drops on Disney +! Money well spent for me!

  11. ItReallyIsYouNotMe says:

    When they first launched Disney+ I listened to this interesting financial podcast that talked about the reason Disney was offering it at such a low price with that they actually wanted to mine the data that comes with people using the service more than charge people for the subscription services. Like they are going to figure out what you like so that they can drive you to the parks or have you buy more merchandise or things like that. So I’m not entirely surprised that they raised the price, but I am a little surprised because I thought that they would want to stick with that original purpose a little longer than one year.

    • lucy2 says:

      I’ve heard the cable companies are like that too. It’s more important to them/their shareholders that you are counted as a customer, rather than what you’re paying.

      Comcast/Xfinity cable just announced a price hike too, which really stinks because they know people are home, and working from home, and can’t fight it.

      I pay for cable with premium channels (they kept adding them to my deal whenever I’d threaten to leave), Netflix, and Hulu. I get Disney+ from my SIL. And I mostly watch the same stuff over and over!

      • lucy2 says:

        All this talk made me just revisit my plan – I took off the premiums and went to a lower internet speed (it’s just me, I don’t need to run 10 devices at a time!) and saved $50/month, wohoo!

    • Juniper says:

      I think the pandemic forced that issue. The parks have been closed for months. Sad but necessary.

  12. Becks1 says:

    I bought a three year subscription to Disney+ last year for 120 dollars – I think, something like that (it was some sort of promo, you had to sign up for the Disney fan club) so I’m set with that. but I find the other prices confusing. We have Xfinity for cable and apparently we get CBS all access as part of that as well as Netflix (we do pay an additional 5 dollars for Netflix so we can get 4k streaming). And then we also get Peacock. So I wonder if a lot of that kind of bundling will go away. Apple also just released new packages for all their add-ons, so now we pay 30 dollars a month to Apple and that gives us AppleTV+ or whatever its called, lol, and Apple music and photo storage and the new exercise app (for the entire family).

    Anyway its all very confusing to me at this stage. I don’t have Hulu and I don’t really have any desire for it. I do love Disney+ though and am surprised you haven’t explored it more Hecate. It has a lot of fun programs.

    • lucy2 says:

      Oooh I have to check about CBS All Access…I was just about to sign up because The Stand starts in 2 days, and I have been in an Alexander Skarsgard drought!

    • anon says:

      I did the same. Before Disney+ launched if you subscribed you could get 3 years for $140. Which works out to under 4 dollars a month. We are Star Wars fans and have a 7 year old so it sounded like a good deal.

      • Becks1 says:

        Yes the 140! We have an 8 year old and 6 year old and also love Star Wars – factor in the pandemic, and we have definitely gotten our moneys worth out of that 140. It’s going to hurt when I have to start paying monthly, lol.

  13. Myra says:

    It’s a good thing that I subscribed to Disney+ for a year then. I haven’t been on either Netflix or Disney+ for almost an entire month, so I should probably reconsider some of my subscriptions.

  14. Mgsota says:

    After 16+ years we decided to get rid of Dish Network (which was on auto-pay… so I almost missed them raising my fee from $140 to $180+!!) My hubby was really the only one in our household that would watch Dish, me and our daughters are usually on Netflix. But they’ve been in disputes with the local channels, so hubby was starting to complain. His viewing is 95% live sports. After trying Sling, we switched to YouTube TV which has given us all the local channels and live sports my hubby wants. Plus it has some of my favorites like Food Network, AMC, HGtV, etc. We already had Netflix, Hulu (free through Sprint) and Disney+…oh and Prime Video. So…I’m happy we pulled the trigger, saving lots of money and we are all happy with our options.

  15. Scarlet Vixen says:

    We finally ditched cable & went full streaming early this year, & even with a handful of subscriptions we still save over $150 a month! We get Hulu free (thru Sprint I think), Amazon Prime (I got a discount on it for Veteran’s Day), YouTubeTV for our tv ‘channels’ & dvr, and Disney+ (I have 3 kids so we watch it a ton). We also use a few free apps, like Peacock, Hoopla, Disbey Now, & Science Channel Go.

    I paid $140 for 3yrs of Disney+ before it launched and I am totally congratulating myself for that right now! It’s already paid for itself imo, and I don’t have to worry about price hikes for at least a couple years still.

  16. Amber says:

    I pay for Amazon Prime and Netflix and that’s it. Honestly I’ve been thinking of cancelling Netflix for a while and switching to HBO because they have the Turner Classic Movies/Warner Brother archives. I keep Amazon purely because it has a pretty good selection of old movies. Netflix got rid of everything made before 1970 basically, and every time I open Netflix I get so overwhelmed by all the new content that I just re-watch Gilmore Girls again. I’m also frustrated by never really owning anything with streaming. In the long term it might be a better investment for me personally to buy DVDs of my very favorite shows and movies so I don’t have to follow them around as they come and go on different streaming services. But I’m pretty done with new television shows. I just can’t take it anymore. It’s all too much.

  17. Sleanne says:

    I pay for my streaming services with gift cards where I can. I load up my account every so often and if someone needs a gift idea for our family I always suggest the streaming gift cards. We’re paid up on all of them until spring currently, which means none of them billing over Xmas. Same with music subscriptions – via Google pay gift cards. Any family that “share” our account occasionally throw a gift card our way too.

  18. Maxime duCamp says:

    I currently only pay for Amazon Prime and while I’d like to cut this on principle alone–I am uncomfortable with the way they are taking over everything– I do use shop at Whole Foods and probably recoup the $12.99 per month on discounts. I have Hulu for free through Spotify, I use my sister’s Netflix password (thank’s Sis), have Apple + for free for a bit because I recently bought a new iPad and have Disney+ free for one year through Verizon because I just moved and have a new Fios account. I also got a fire stick and there are some free apps/channels (Tubi, IMDb, there may be more) that have some good movies (granted they have a ton of crap as well but). I have no idea why Spotify added Hulu for no extra charge but I’m not complaining. I love What We Do in the Shadows and The Great as well as older seasons of mind-numbing crap series from Bravo and TLC.