Streaming service Disney+ has confirmed its pricing strategy for its new ad-supported version, which will debut in the US this December. Don’t expect to save money.
Viewers in the USA will be the first to be able to choose between the current ad-free Disney+ service (to be called ‘Premium’) and a version containing ads (to be called ‘Basic’). The ad-free option is due to be rolled out to other – as yet unconfirmed – countries around the world during 2023.
Streaming services are increasingly turning to ad-supported versions of their product to help fight against customer cancellations, as viewers cut back on expenses.
Disney’s latest quarterly update confirms the ad-supported basic version in the USA will end up costing the same as what viewers are currently paying for the ad-free Premium service.
As a result, it won’t be possible for viewers to access Disney+ for less than they are currently paying.
37.5% increase in price to maintain ad-free status
Disney has announced that the basic ad-supported option will launch in the USA at $7.99 a month in December. At the same time, the ad-free option will increase in price from $7.99 to $10.99. That’s an increase of $3 or 37.5%.
Disney+ subscribers face a choice:
- pay extra money and remain ad-free
- switch down to basic and pay the same, but see adverts.
In the UK, Disney+ is currently available for £7.99 a month. In the Republic of Ireland, viewers must pay €8.99 a month. Annual subscriptions offering discounts are available. How Disney intends to adjust UK/Ireland pricing remains to be seen. As utility bills increase this winter, it could become a difficult time for Disney+ and other streamers.
For now, Disney has reported further growth internationally. Disney+ gained 14.4 million extra subscribers in the latest quarter. It’s unclear how many ditched another streaming service to pay for Disney+ instead.
Iain Hatton, features writer, RXTV