Streaming Services Are Slashing Prices In Desperation Move

Streamers like Hulu and Peacock are slashing prices in promotional offerings for a limited time.

By Kevin C. Neece | Updated

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It seems streaming services are always after eyeballs and always reworking their offerings and price structures to stay afloat. In keeping with the trend of mixing up pricing, The Hollywood Reporter shares, Hulu and Peacock are both running summer promotions that might feel a bit desperate as the race for views continues. Hulu features offerings like Unprisoned, History of the World Part II, Not Dead Yet, and the Andrew Garfield miniseries Under the Banner of Heaven, all available for just a couple more days (through 05/27) at the price of just $2 per month for three months.

Meanwhile, streaming on Peacock is also getting less expensive for a limited time, though its prices are not being slashed quite as drastically. Still, the NBC/Universal service, which features Bel-Air, M3gan, and Cocaine Bear, alongside previous seasons of Yellowstone, is cutting its price by more than half, offering a year’s subscription for just $20. By comparison, an annual subscription to the service is $50, or a monthly price tag of $5.

This all comes as other streaming services are making moves to try to shore up their gains, including Netflix‘s decision to begin charging users a fee for sharing their passwords. The $7.99 fee is less than a new subscription but substantially more than the ability to share passwords free of charge. Still, Netflix seems to be the strongest of the bunch while others are still trying to find their way or—like CNN+, Quibi, and others—collapsing altogether.

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Disney+’s Willow series

Other large streaming services are making some head-scratching and even bewildering decisions as well, such as Disney+ not only canceling the very well-received and largely critically-acclaimed Willow series but puling it entirely only months after its premiere. Puzzlingly, Disney is still keeping much lower-rated series like She-Hulk: Attorney at Law while not even allowing this long-awaited follow-up to the classic 1988 Ron Howard film a decent chance to find its audience. The move comes amid a raft of cancellations on the streamer, possibly signaling more trouble for Disney, which seems to have become top-heavy, laying off large numbers of employees in recent months.

Meanwhile, the Warner Bros. Discovery streaming platform formerly known as HBO Max is now just…Max, a move that has left many watchers puzzled as it removes all branded identity from the name of the service, leaving some to ask, “Max what?” Still, the service has popular offerings and will no doubt be keeping subscribers, even with its unpopular name change. Offerings on Max currently include The Last of Us and The Batman, soon to be joined by fare for younger audiences (and their ’80s-nostalgic parents) like Gremlins: Secrets of the Mogwai.

Whether the moves to gain new streaming subscribers at Peacock and Hulu turn out to be desperation or brilliance, they both offer enticing price points for those who would like to try them out—or catch up on Yellowstone and cancel. But as streamers continue to sort out their offerings, market, and relationships with subscribers, we can continue to expect more price drops, fee additions, reshuffles, cancelations, rebrandings, and baffling changes in the months and years to come.