Disney+ might soon have a cheaper plan with advertisements
Streaming services are highly competitive right now, with new services showing up on a regular basis, and several companies switching up their strategies (such as CBS All Access becoming Paramount+). The Disney+ streaming service is still relatively new, and now Disney might be planning to offer a cheaper plan with advertisements to boost subscriber numbers.
The Information reports that Disney is discussing plans to release a cheaper tier of its Disney+ streaming service, which would be subsidized by advertisements. Disney announced at the end of 2020 that it was aiming for 300-350 million Disney+ subscribers by 2024, and as of Q4 2021, the service is still at 118.1 million subscribers (with 2.1 million new subscribers in Q4 alone).
Most streaming services already offer a cheaper plan supported by advertisements. HBO Max with advertisements costs $9.99 per month ($14.99/month without ads), Hulu’s ad-supported plan is $6.99/month (ad-free Hulu is $12.99/mo), and Paramount+ has an “Essential” tier with ads for $4.99/month (down from $9.99/mo). Peacock from NBCUniversal offers both an ad-supported plan ($4.99/mo), and a free plan that has advertisements and a more limited selection of content.
An ad-supported Disney+ might have access to all the same content, just with occasional ad breaks (such as Hulu with ads or Peacock Premium), or might restrict access to certain movies or shows (like free Peacock). It’s not not clear which strategy the company is aiming for, but according to The Information, the company’s plans could still change at any time.
Disney is also experimenting with other plan options. The company is currently testing two mobile-only Disney+ Hotstar plans in India, which is less expensive and only allows low-resolution playback on phones, similar to Netflix’s cheapest mobile-only subscription. Disney is also rapidly expanding the amount of content available on Disney+, especially with its growing library of Star Wars and family-oriented shows and movies.
Source: The Information