Disney+ is going to launch an ad-supported tier that would make the streaming service more affordable, according to Kareem Daniel, chairman of Disney Media and Entertainment Distribution, in a statement provided to The Hollywood Reporter.
“Expanding access to Disney+ to a broader audience at a lower price point is a win for everyone — consumers, advertisers, and our storytellers,” Daniel said. “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.”
Shortly after we published this story, Disney confirmed its plans in a blog post.
No price has yet been set on the new tier, but it is expected to launch in the U.S. in 2022, with an international rollout in 2023. When Disney makes the new ad-supported tier available, it will join services like Hulu, Discovery+, Peacock, and HBO Max, which also offer ad-supported subscriptions. Disney’s biggest rivals, Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and Apple TV+, do not have ad-supported options.
Currently, Disney+ costs $8 per month or $80 per year. However, Disney+ isn’t Disney’s only streaming service. Following its acquisition of 21st Century Fox, Disney also controls Hulu, and it offers the sports-focused ESPN+. For $14, you can get a bundle that includes all three services, saving you $5 a month.
Disney+ has been growing rapidly since its launch in November 2019, and now has more than 42 million members in the U.S. and Canada, and 129 million subscribers worldwide, according to Statista. And while Netflix still has the biggest pool of subscribers (75 million in the U.S. and Canada and 221 million worldwide), it’s rate of growth is slowing, leading some analysts to predict that Disney+ will actually exceed Netflix’s total subscriber count by sometime in 2025. The service’s new ad-supported tier will likely accelerate that timeline when it launches.
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