Disney has confirmed recent media speculation that the company will make a low-cost, ad-supported version of Disney+ available. However, it’s not expected to come to the UK until next year.
Streaming providers are coming under increased pressure to retain subscribers, as the cost of living increases and households have to make choices regarding if and how many streaming services they can afford. Disney+ also wants to introduce a cheaper option to reach audiences it’s not been able to reach so far.
Additionally, a boom in streaming helped by viewers being stuck at home is now over.
An ad-supported version of Disney+ will go live in late 2022 in the USA. It will roll out internationally from 2023, when it’s expected to become available across the UK and Europe.
Pricing has not been confirmed, but an ad-supported version won’t mean the service will be free to use.
For example, Discovery+ is already introducing a cheaper subscription option for users in the UK and Ireland. For £3.99 a month, users can opt for an ad-lite version, £3 less per month than the premium option.
In effect, the end result will be very similar to how traditional pay TV has worked for decades. Despite paying subscription fees, there’s still adverts.
Confirming media reports, Kareem Daniel, Chairman, Disney Media and Entertainment Distribution said:
“Expanding access to Disney+ to a broader audience at a lower price point is a win for everyone – consumers, advertisers, and our storytellers. More consumers will be able to access our amazing content. Advertisers will be able to reach a wider audience, and our storytellers will be able to share their incredible work with more fans and families.”
And it appears advertisers are looking forward to having their products and services appearing on Disney Plus.
Rita Ferro, President, Advertising, Disney Media and Entertainment Distribution commented:
“Since its launch, advertisers have been clamouring for the opportunity to be part of Disney+ and not just because there’s a growing demand for more streaming inventory. Disney+ with advertising will offer marketers the most premium environment in streaming with our most beloved brands, Disney, Pixar, Star Wars, Marvel and National Geographic. ”
On Thursday, ITV confirmed it was going to adopt a similar model for its new streaming service, ITVX. Viewers will be able to choose between an ad-supported or a premium ad-free version. Unlike Disney+, the ad-supported version will be free.