Disney+ Price Set To Increase, Ad Version Launching Soon

Disney has released pricing information for the new ad-supported Disney+ plan. Disney+ is the exclusive streaming platform for all Disney content, including Pixar, Marvel, and Star Wars. When the streaming site launched in late 2019, plans started at $6.99 per month with uninterrupted access to the entire catalog. By March 2021, Disney+ increased its rate to $7.99 per month and offered a Disney+ Bundle package that includes access to Hulu and ESPN+.

At its current rate, Disney+ has one of the cheapest streaming platforms subscriptions. This, in addition to the platform’s successful originals and beloved classics, has allowed Disney+ to grow its base to over 138 million subscribers. In order to continue to increase subscribers at this rate, it was announced earlier this year that Disney would introduce an ad-supported tier to the platform. Disney is counting on most of its customers to go for the cheaper option. Data shows that 70% of Hulu subscribers are currently signed up for an ad-supported plan, the company expects similar results for its new ad-based model, and the money generated from Disney+’s ad supported plans could outweigh any potential backlash to the price hike.

Now, Disney has announced pricing for its new ad-supported Disney+ plan, scheduled to release on December 8th, 2022. Outlined by Variety, current Disney+ subscribers who wish to continue using the platform ad-free can sign up for Disney+ Premium for $10.99 per month or $109.99 annually. The current $7.99 per month plan will become the ad-supported Disney+ Basic without an annual option. Disney+ Bundles will also increase in price, with multiple tier options including ads supported, premium Disney+ and Hulu, as well as ESPN+ as an additional add-on. The United States launch of Disney+ Basic is set for December of this year with an international roll-out expected in early 2023. See the full details below:

Disney+, Hulu and ESPN+ Standalone Plans 

Disney+ Basic (with ads): $7.99 per month; no annual option 

Disney + Premium (no ads): $10.99 per month; $109.99 annually

Hulu Basic (with ads)*: $7.99 per month; $79.99 annually

Hulu Premium (no ads)*: $14.99 per month; no annual option

ESPN+**: $9.99 per month; $99.99 annually 

 *Hulu price increases effective Oct. 10

** ESPN+ price increases effective Aug. 23

Disney Bundle Plans

Basic (with ads): Disney+, Hulu: $9.99 per month

Basic (with ads): Disney+, Hulu, ESPN+: $12.99 per month

Legacy*: Disney+ (no ads), Hulu (with ads), ESPN+ (with ads): $14.99 per month

Premium: Disney+ (no ads), Hulu (no ads), ESPN+ (with ads): $19.99 per month

* Existing subscribers only

In addition to these prices, Disney has re-emphasized guidelines for how ads will function on the platform. Each hour of programming will contain four minutes of advertisements, which will at first be limited to 15 and 30-second spots. Over time, Disney+ hopes to diversify its advertising lineup, with the exception of political and alcohol ads. The studio has also said that some programs aimed at toddlers and young children will continue to be ad0free regardless of service plan. After successful year in amassing new subscribers, this new ad-supported plan could help Disney reach its 230 million subscriber goal for 2023.

It is no secret that streaming has become increasingly competitive in recent years. While Disney+ still has a ways to go in order to catch up with Netflix’s subscription numbers, this new ad-supported option should push the service even closer. Of course, Disney should be prepared for some existing subscribers to cancel service over the Disney+ Premium price hike, but the company has carefully planned this launch to avoid backlash by not raising prices on existing customers, and instead introducing ads at the same rate. Even at the new premium price, Disney+ remains one of the cheapest streaming subscriptions available.

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