Hulu is offering new and select returning subscribers its basic, ad-supported tier for $1 a month for their first three months.
The regular price of the service is $6.99 with ads and $12.99 for the ad-free version.
The discount offer, which is tied to National Streaming Day, runs through next Friday, May 27.
In reporting its financial results for the quarter ending April 2, Disney said it had 45.6 million Hulu subscribers, including 4.1 million on its live service. Average revenue per subscriber was $12.77 for on-demand Hulu and $88.77 for Hulu + Live TV. During the company’s quarterly earnings call with Wall Street analysts, Disney CEO Bob Chapek name-checked Hulu series Pam & Tommy, The Dropout, The Kardashians and Only Murders in the Building.
Disney has experimented with a number of pricing and bundling strategies with Hulu since taking full control of the streaming outlet in 2019. It put Hulu’s basic tier in its popular bundle with Disney+ and ESPN+ and also then began offering that trio at no extra charge to subscribers of Hulu + Live TV, its pay-TV package.
While promotional pricing is sure to lure some new subscribers, the dollar-a-month offer is coinciding with a bit of strain on Hulu’s financials, at least in the immediate term. CFO Christine McCarthy said on the earnings call that direct-to-consumer programming and production costs in the current quarter, including at Hulu, are expected to rise by more than $900 million compared with the same period of 2021. She cited higher original content expense at Disney+ and Hulu, increased sports rights costs and higher programming fees at Hulu Live.
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