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Hulu Reaches 47.2 Million Subscribers in Q4 2022, Including 4.4 Million with Hulu + Live TV

David Satin

As part of their fourth-quarter 2022 fiscal year earnings release, Disney announced that Hulu added 1 million subscribers for a total of 47.2 million as of Oct. 1, 2022. That includes 4.4 million Hulu + Live TV subscribers, which was up from 4 million over last quarter. Total Hulu subscribers were up 8% year-over-year from 43.8 million, while Hulu + Live TV subscribers rose 10% from 4 million last October.

This is the final quarter prior to extensive price hikes taking effect across Disney platforms. In October, Hulu raised the prices of their SVOD (subscription video-on-demand) service to $7.99 per month with ads and $14.99 per month without.

Hulu Live TV’s price increase is coming on Dec. 8, when existing subscribers who use Hulu with ads will see an increase from $69.99 per month to $74.99 per month (unless they downgrade their Disney Bundle), and users who subscribe to ad-free Hulu will pay $82.99 per month instead of $75.99.

Also released on Tuesday was the news that Disney+ added 12.1 million subscribers during the previous quarter to come in at 164.2M worldwide, and ESPN+ increased its customer base by 1.5 million to come in at 24.3M. Disney streaming services have a combined 235.7 million users, which would put it ahead of Netflix, although many of those subscribers have the Disney Bundle, so there is some overlap.

By comparison, Netflix added 2.4 million subscribers this quarter, bringing its global total to 223M, still by far the largest single streamer in the world. However, the company only added 104K subscribers in the U.S. and Canada.

Hulu is closer to the neighborhood of Paramount+, which carries 46M subscribers as of Q3. HBO Max and discovery+ combine for more than double that number, currently sitting at 94.9M global users, but it is believed that HBO Max still retains the bulk of that total, since it had 76.8M customers following Q1, the last time that the two services were reported separately.

It has been a busy quarter for Hulu. The company saw the next-day streaming rights to NBCUniversal shows leave the platform in September and land on NBCU’s in-house Peacock streamer. That departure was a prelude to NBCU’s parent company Comcast stepping away from Hulu, as well. Disney will purchase the remaining 33% of the service from Comcast by 2024, and the two sides have clashed publicly over the valuation of that remaining stake.

When the sale of Hulu to Disney is complete, the House of Mouse might move quickly to combine it with Disney+. Disney CEO Bob Chapek said in September such a move would be highly beneficial to Hulu.

“You know the term soft bundle and hard bundle, right? Soft bundle is, hey, buy all three services for the low price of X. The hard bundle is when things become seamless, and without friction,” he said. “Right now if you want to go from Hulu to ESPN+ to Disney+, you have to go out of one app to another app. In the future, we may have less friction (grins).”

The conflict over Hulu’s rights has not stopped Disney from raising the price on the general entertainment streamer. Disney announced price increases for all of its streaming platforms last quarter. Hulu was the second to see the price hike after ESPN+, and rose from $6.99 per month to $7.99 for its ad-supported tier, and from $12.99 per month to $14.99 per month on its ad-free option.

  • Hulu

    Hulu is a video streaming service that gives access to thousands of full seasons of exclusive series, hit movies, kids shows, and Hulu Originals like “Only Murders in the Building,” and “The Handmaid's Tale.”

    It offers a good selection of current TV shows and its ad-supported tier is cheaper than both Netflix and Amazon Prime Video. You will be able to watch most shows from networks like ABC and Fox, and cable channels like FXX, FXM, HGTV, and more.

    The service has a Limited Commercials plan for $7.99 a month, or you can upgrade to their No Ads plan for $14.99 a month. For $69.99 a month, you can get Hulu Live TV from major cable channels, live locals and regional sports networks.

  • Hulu Live TV

    Hulu Live TV is a live TV streaming service with more than 70 channels for $69.99/month. Hulu + Live TV base plan includes local channels, 33 of the top 35 cable channels, and regional sports networks (RSNs). Subscribers get free access to Disney+ and ESPN+ at no extra charge.

    While Disney controls both Hulu and ABC, local Sinclair affiliates who broadcast ABC were dropped from Hulu on March 8, 2023 due to a carriage dispute. However, this was resolved nearly 8 weeks later and all 28 markets are back on the service.

    That being said, for the content that Hulu Live TV has (which is plenty), the service provides an unlimited DVR with the ability to skip through commercials. You also have the option to upgrade for premium channels, unlimited screens, and commercial-free access to Hulu’s on-demand library.

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