This week in home entertainment news, one of 2021’s biggest movies arrived on digital streaming, Disney+ and Hulu launched a killer new bundle deal, and Amazon closed its deal with MGM.

Amazon closes $8.5 billion MGM deal

Amazon previously announced its intention to acquire MGM and its IP, and that deal has officially been completed as of this week. Mike Hopkins, senior vice president of Prime Video and Amazon Studios, said in a statement:

MGM has a nearly century-long legacy of producing exceptional entertainment, and we share their commitment to delivering a broad slate of original films and television shows to a global audience. We welcome MGM employees, creators, and talent to Prime Video and Amazon Studios, and we look forward to working together to create even more opportunities to deliver quality storytelling to our customers.

Google TV debuts latest ‘Watch with Me’ list

This week, Google is showcasing the watchlist of award-winning director Chloé Zhao, of Nomadland and Marvel’s Eternals fame. You can read more on her watchlist below.

Paramount+ teams up w/ Xbox Game Pass

If you’re an Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscriber, you can get a special streaming perk soon. Starting March 24, Game Pass will offer subscribers a free 30-day membership to Paramount+ in celebration of the upcoming Halo TV show, based on Microsoft’s ongoing series. More details are available here.

Paramount+ also scored a big content addition this week with the entire I Love Lucy series.

No Way Home is now available on Google TV

Spider-Man: No Way Home moved up its digital release date by a week, and is now available on all platforms including Google TV for $19.99.

Disney+ rolls out Defender’s shows, gets a sweet Hulu bundle deal

As promised, Disney+ this week expanded its Marvel library with the shows originally from Netflix. Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, Iron Fist, and The Punisher series have all arrived on the platform, alongside new parental controls. You’ll need to set up those parental controls the first time you go to use Disney+ after this latest change.

In bigger news, though, Disney is offering a killer Hulu bundle deal for Disney+. If you’re already a Hulu subscriber, you might get an email offering up a deal to get Disney+ for a mere $2.99/month on top of your normal Hulu subscription. This appears to be a limited deal, but it’s certainly one worth considering.

Hulu also announced last week that it will roll out an unlimited DVR to all live subscribers in April.

HBO Max and Discovery+ are combining

Variety reports that, under its new WarnerMedia merger, Discovery+ and HBO Max will combine into a single streaming service. HBO Max launched in 2020 for $14.99/month with a broad library, where Discovery+ launched in early 2021 with a focused library for $4.99/month.

Discovery — which is about to become Warner Bros. Discovery within the next month, when its merger with AT&T’s WarnerMedia closes — has confirmed its plans to combine its current streaming service Discovery Plus and WarnerMedia’s HBO Max into one service, rather than offer the two platforms as a bundle.

Netflix may charge you to share your subscription

After hiking prices again earlier this year, Netflix appears to be testing even more ways to squeeze a buck or two out of customers. This week, Netflix said that password sharing “impacts” the company’s ability to invest in new content, and offered a solution.

In the future, Netflix account-holders will be able to create accounts to share with people they do not live with, those extra users getting their own login as well. However, this comes with an extra charge of a few dollars per month. The feature is in testing in Chile, Costa Rica, and Peru, and costs around $2.99/month extra.

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Ben Schoon

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