Disney hikes streaming prices as much as 27% to narrow losses for those services that totaled $512 million in just the latest quarter alone

Walt Disney is raising the prices of its streaming services, including a 27% increase for the advertising-free version of the flagship Disney+.

Starting Oct. 12, the ad-free version of Disney+ will cost $14 a month, up from $11 currently, the Burbank, California-based company said Wednesday. The ad-free version of Hulu is going up by 20% to $18.

It’s the second price increase for Disney+ in less than a year — and underscores the company’s drive to make its streaming business profitable by September 2024. The lowest-priced plans, Disney+ and Hulu with ads, will remain at $8 a month.

Since the launch of Disney+ in November 2019, the world’s largest entertainment company had sought to attract streaming subscribers with unsustainably low prices. 

Now management is raising prices, seeking to narrow its losses and stay competitive without alienating customers. Rival Netflix Inc. charges $15.50 a month for its ad-free service, while Warner Bros. Discovery Inc. prices the Max service at $16.

Earlier Wednesday, Disney reported its loss from streaming narrowed by half to $512 million in the fiscal third quarter, far less than what management had forecast three months ago.

The company finished the period with 105.7 million core customers of Disney+, up from 104.9 million three months earlier. The count excludes the Hotstar service in Asia.

As part of the changes, Disney introduced an ad-free version of Disney-Hulu bundle priced at $20 a month. An ad-free version of a bundle with Disney+, Hulu and ESPN+is increasing to $25 monthly from $20, while a subscription to that package with ads will rise to $15 monthly from $13.

Disney is also introducing an ad-supported version of its Disney+ service in several European markets and in Canada in November. 

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