Those that have been with Hulu Live TV since the very beginning have encountered multiple price increases over the years. Even though this has resulted in a significant increase in the cost of a subscription, Hulu is not an exception. The live TV streaming sector in general has seen its fair share of price increases.
While Hulu, as a subscription service, has been around for years, it was only in 2017 when Hulu moved into the live TV sphere. Originally advertised as the Hulu with Live TV (Beta) plan, a subscription combined the basic Hulu on-demand service with a varied selection of live TV channels. This alone made it a little different to most other services that either focused primarily on on-demand videos or on live TV.
When Hulu Live TV first launched, a standard subscription was priced at just $39.99 per month. For that monthly payment, subscribers received access to more than 50 live TV channels, basic Hulu, the ability to watch on 2 screens at the same time, and 50 hours of cloud DVR to record with.
A lot has changed since then, including the price. Below is every price increase that Hulu Live TV subscribers have encountered so far.
|Date||Increase p/m||Price p/m|
Hulu Live TV increases to $45/month
It would take almost two years before Hulu Live TV encountered its first-ever price increase, and by today’s standards, it wasn’t a very big one either. After launching in May of 2019, Hulu announced a live TV price increase on January 23rd, 2019. The increase was $5 per month taking the cost of a live TV subscription up to $44.99 per month. While the announcement was made in January, the new $44.99 per month price didn’t take effect until February 26th, 2019.
At the time, Hulu Live TV wasn’t as robust of a live TV streaming service as it is today and this can be seen in the channel lineup. When increasing the monthly price from $39.99 to $44.99, Hulu Live TV only offered access to 60+ live TV channels.
The 2019 price hike was announced as part of a more general change to Hulu’s pricing. The interesting thing with this announcement was that Hulu actually lowered the cost of its ad-supported basic Hulu subscription to $5.99 (down from $7.99) per month. Considering basic Hulu is included with a Hulu Live TV plan, it could be argued that the live TV plan had actually increased by $7 per month, as the live TV portion of the subscription had gone up from $32 to $39 per month.
Hulu Live TV increases to $55/month
While it took almost two years for the first price increase to arrive, the second came much sooner. In fact, Hulu’s second live TV price increase took place in the same year as the first. Adding to this, it was a more substantial price increase as well.
In November of 2019, Hulu confirmed that its live TV service was increasing in price by $10, taking the new total to $54.99 per month. This effectively meant that the cost of a live TV subscription had increased $15 in 2019 alone. Similar to the original price increase, there was a delay between the announcement and the actual rolling out of the price change. Hulu first announced the change on November 15th and began charging subscribers $55 per month on December 18th, 2019.
By this point, Hulu had grown to become the most popular live TV streaming service in the US. This was something that Hulu was acutely aware of at the time, even understanding that this latest price increase could result in some canceling their subscription. Due to this, Hulu also took the opportunity to announce that it had made switching between its live TV and on-demand plans easier.
Hulu Live TV increases to $65/month
With two price increases in 2019, some may have thought 2020 would pass without a price increase. That was not the case. Pretty much exactly one year after the last increase, Hulu announced another change to its live TV pricing. The 2020 price increase was first reported on November 16th, and like previous increases, it would take a few weeks to kick in. The price increase eventually did take effect on December 18th, 2020, the same date that the previous year’s increase had rolled out.
Just like the second price increase of 2019, the 2020 hike added another $10 to the monthly cost, taking the price of a live TV subscription up to $64.99 per month. The Live TV service had also slightly increased its channel lineup by this time, with the Hulu website stating access to 65+ live channels, an increase on the 60+ live channels that Hulu was advertising prior to the late-2019 price increase.
By now, YouTube TV had emerged as the main rival to Hulu Live TV, and the alternate live TV service had gone through a number of its own price increases. The latest YouTube TV price increase arrived in June of 2020, increasing the cost to $64.99 per month. This meant that the December 2020 Hulu Live TV increase ensured Hulu and YouTube TV’s base plans were priced exactly the same.
Hulu Live TV increases to $70/month
The most recent Hulu Live TV price change arrived in December 2021, marking the third year in a row that Hulu increased the price during the Holiday season. Similar to the other price increases, the 2021 hike was announced ahead of time. The original confirmation came on November 22, with the price increase taking effect on December 21, 2021.
In terms of the cost, the 2021 price increase added another $5, taking the price of a monthly live TV subscription up to $69.99. The same price it is currently. However, this price increase was a little different to previous ones as Hulu didn’t just increase the price, but also bundled Disney Plus and ESPN Plus with the live TV plan.
At the current $69.99 price, Hulu Live TV is one of the more expensive live TV streaming services, but that’s only when not taking into account the added value on offer with the additional basic Hulu, Disney Plus and ESPN subscriptions. For those households that are already paying for these additional services, the 2021 price increase may have actually felt like a price reduction. For everyone else, it was simply another $5 that has to be paid each month.
Hulu Live TV price increases: summary
Hulu Live TV has encountered four major price increases over the years taking the cost of a live TV subscription up from $39.99 to $69.99 per month. In general, 2019 was the worst year for Hulu subscribers considering the cost of a subscription increased by $15 per month over two separate price increases. Of course, the channel lineup has evolved as well, and although subscribers don’t get all of the channels they once did, they do now get more than they ever did before.
At its original $39.99 launch price, Hulu Live TV offered very good value, albeit at a premium to services, like Sling TV, that were much cheaper at the time. Not a lot has changed since then. Even though the price has increased, Hulu Live TV still offers very good value, albeit at a premium compared to services like Sling TV.