EW’s Key Takeaways from Disney’s Slew of Announcements
Disney announced it's planning a whopping ten Star Wars series over the next few years, along with an equal number of Marvel series.
When it launched back in November 2019, one of the enticing parts about signing up for a Disney+ subscription (apart from its massive library and promising original content) was that viewers could basically get three subscriptions in one. Offered in a bundle with Hulu and ESPN+, subscribers could watch family-friendly content from the House of Mouse alongside more mature shows on Hulu and live sports from ESPN. This came with a caveat, however: Disney+'s bundle only included ad-supported Hulu, something that many who prefer interruption-free streaming would find frustrating.
All that changes now. Disney+ has launched an ad-free bundle with Hulu and ESPN+ for $18.99 per month. Any new subscriber is eligible for the bundle, but only those who currently have a standalone Disney+, ad-supported Hulu, or ESPN+ account can go the upgrade route (sorry, current bundle subscribers).
Marvel Studios; Alex Lombardi/Hulu
Subscribe! Disney+, ad-free Hulu, and ESPN+ bundle, $18.99 per month; disneyplus.com
Since ad-free Hulu, ESPN+, and Disney+ subscriptions start at $11.99, $5.99, and $6.99 per month on their own (almost $25 total), Disney+'s new bundle is a more affordable option for viewers who want to have all three. It also simplifies things for new subscribers who want to minimize their subscriptions.
The launch comes after Disney+'s major rival, Netflix, surpassed 200 million subscribers for the first time and blew viewing numbers out of the water with its biggest series ever, Bridgerton. The Shondaland regency romp was watched by 82 million households on Netflix, while Disney+ last reported its subscription numbers at 86.8 million this past December. Disney+ also forecasted that it would grow to 230 to 260 million subscribers by 2024, according to CNBC.
Regardless, signing up for more streaming platforms has all but become essential for moviegoers and TV fans. The coronavirus pandemic has pushed TV binge-watching to the forefront, and many new blockbusters, such as Soul, Mulan, and Wonder Woman 1984, are only available on demand via streaming. So if you've held out until now, subscribe to Disney+ and its ad-free bundle with Hulu here.