Pric­ing tide rises for some stream­ing ser­vices

USA TODAY US Edition - - MONEY | TECH - Ethan May

Stream­ing ser­vices have be­come com­mon sta­ple in Amer­i­can liv­ing rooms: A March 2018 sur­vey by CNBC found 57 per­cent of the pub­lic has some form of stream­ing ser­vice. And each ser­vice has its own perks – and its own price.

With re­cent price changes an­nounced by Net­flix and Hulu, it’s a good time to take a look at what they of­fer and at what cost.

Net­flix raised the monthly price on all its plans in the U.S. Hulu, mean­while, de­creased the cost of its en­try-level, on­de­mand of­fer­ings while in­creas­ing the cost for live TV sub­scrip­tions.

Here are the ser­vices pro­vided by Net­flix and Hulu and their cost.


Net­flix of­fers cus­tomers three tiers: ba­sic, stan­dard and premium.

❚ Ba­sic ($8.99 per month): This pack­age al­lows you to watch one screen at a time. It pro­vides un­lim­ited movies and TV shows on your phone, tablet, lap­top or TV.

❚ Stan­dard ($12.99 per month): This choice al­lows you to watch on two screens at once. It is their most pop­u­lar tier. In ad­di­tion to the other fea­tures avail­able in the Ba­sic pack­age, it also gives you HD video.

❚ Premium ($15.99 per month): The high­est tier lets you watch on four screens at once and gives you ul­tra HD video (4K res­o­lu­tion), in ad­di­tion to fea­tures avail­able in the less ex­pen­sive pack­ages.

Be­fore rate changes an­nounced Jan.

15, the ba­sic pack­age was $7.99 a month, the stan­dard pack­age was $10.99 a month and the premium pack­age was


The most pop­u­lar con­tent avail­able on Net­flix in­cludes “Or­ange Is The New Black,” “Bird Box” and “Friends.”


Hulu has more pack­ages be­cause it also of­fers live tele­vi­sion.

❚ Base plan ($5.99 per month start­ing Feb. 26): Hulu’s most pop­u­lar pack­age pro­vides ac­cess to “full sea­sons of ex­clu­sive se­ries, cur­rent episodes, clas­sic fa­vorites, Hulu Orig­i­nals, hit movies, kids shows, and tons more” on one screen at a time with ad­ver­tise­ments.

❚ Ad­ver­tise­ment-free ($11.99 per month): This pack­age pro­vides the same video con­tent with­out ad­ver­tis­ing breaks, ex­cept for ads be­fore and af­ter episodes of “Grey’s Anatomy,” “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.,” “New Girl” and “How To Get Away With Mur­der.” The plan al­lows stream­ing on one screen at a time.

❚ Hulu + Live TV ($44.99 per month

start­ing Feb. 26): In ad­di­tion to pro­vid­ing ac­cess to the con­tent avail­able on the lower tiers on two screens at a time, this pack­age also gives cus­tomers ac­cess to live-stream­ing of more than 60 “Live and On De­mand TV chan­nels,” in­clud­ing (where avail­able) ABC, CBS, Fox, NBC, ESPN, Fox Sports 1, A&E, USA Net­work, CNN and TLC. It can also record up to 50 hours of live TV.

❚ Hulu + Live TV ad­ver­tise­ment- free ($50.99 per month start­ing Feb. 26): The most ex­pen­sive pack­age in­cludes all of the con­tent listed in the lower tiers and does not have ad­ver­tise­ments on the video on de­mand con­tent.

Hulu an­nounced price changes on Jan. 23 that low­ered the cost of the base plan by $2 while rais­ing the cost of the live-tele­vi­sion op­tions by $5 for pack­ages with ads and $7 for pack­ages with­out ads.

With the live-tele­vi­sion op­tions come add-ons for ad­di­tional cost. They in­clude:

❚ HBO ($14.99 per month)

❚ Cine­max ($9.99 per month)

❚ SHOW­TIME ($10.99 per month)

❚ STARZ ($8.99 per month)

❚ En­hanced cloud DVR with the abil­ity to fast-for­ward through com­mer­cials, record pro­grams si­mul­ta­ne­ously up to 200 to­tal hours and stream record­ings any­where with sup­ported de­vices.

($14.99 per month) Un­lim­ited screens on de­vices con- nected to your home in­ter­net plus three screens on mo­bile de­vices off your home net­work. ($14.99 per month)

En­ter­tain­ment add-on to gain ac­cess to chan­nels like Dis­cov­ery Life, CNBC World, the DIY Net­work and more. ($7.99 per month)

Span­ish add-on to gain ac­cess to Span­ish ver­sions of CNN, Dis­cov­ery Net­work, the His­tory Chan­nel and more. ($4.99 per month)

A cus­tomer with the most ex­pen­sive pack­age and all the add-ons would pay nearly $140 per month.

The most pop­u­lar con­tent avail­able on Hulu in­cludes “This Is Us,” “The Hand­maid’s Tale” and “Fam­ily Guy.”

The in­for­ma­tion is up to date as of Jan. 23. The prices do not in­clude free tri­als or spe­cial of­fers.


Net­flix raised the monthly price on all its plans in the U.S. Hulu, mean­while, de­creased the cost of its en­try-level, on-de­mand of­fer­ings.

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