Following the business models of other streaming services, Disney announced in August they would be launching their own ad-supported tier for their streaming service, Disney+. The new tier will launch in the U.S. on December 8. The basic plan with ads will be priced at $7.99 per month; there is no annual option available. Disney+ subscribers outside the U.S. will see the ad-free plan and accompanying price increase in 2023.
Disney made the announcement in their third-quarter fiscal report.
“With our new ad-supported Disney+ offering and an expanded lineup of plans across our entire streaming portfolio, we will be providing greater consumer choice at a variety of price points to cater to the diverse needs of our viewers and appeal to an even broader audience,” said Kareem Daniel, chairman, Disney Media & Entertainment Distribution.
Though Disney has not confirmed this, Android Police reports that some features may not be available to subscribers to the Disney+ ad-supported tier. Specifically, it looks like Groupwatch and Shareplay may not be included features.
Their pricing for all Disney-owned streaming services is as follows:
|Disney+||Basic with ads||$7.99||N/A|
|Disney+||Premium, no ads||$10.99||$109.99|
|Hulu||Basic with ads||$7.99||$79.99|
|Hulu||Premium, no ads||$14.99||N/A|
|Hulu + Live TV||Hulu with ads + Live TV, Disney+ (no ads) and ESPN+ with ads||$69.99*||N/A|
|ESPN+||UFC PPV||$74.99 per event||N/A|
|ESPN+||UFC PPV + Annual||N/A||$124.98|
*This package price will increase to $74.99 as of December 8, 2022.
In addition to these streaming services, Disney offers bundles to give streaming subscribers a price break when they subscribe to two or more services. According to the Disney+ help center, current pricing is as follows:
- Disney Bundle Duo Basic: For $9.99 a month, subscribers can watch Disney+ with ads and Hulu with ads. This bundle is only available to new Disney+ subscribers and new or existing Hulu subscribers. Existing Disney+ subscribers are not eligible.
- Disney Bundle Trio Basic: For $12.99 a month, subscribers get Disney+ with ads, Hulu with ads, and ESPN+ with ads.
- Disney Bundle Trio Premium: For $19.99 a month, subscribers get access to Disney+ (no ads), Hulu (no ads) and ESPN+ with ads. Content can also be downloaded for watching offline.
- Legacy Disney Bundle: Now priced at $14.99 a month, streaming subscribers can stream Disney+ (no ads), Hulu (with ads) and ESPN+ with ads. Content can be downloaded for watching on the go. This plan is only available to new subscribers until December 7, 2022. Existing subscribers will be able to keep their plans as long as they don’t change or cancel it.
Hulu was among the first to offer an ad-supported business model for its streaming service. However, other streaming services have hopped on the ad-supported bandwagon to offer subscribers more plan and pricing choices and to diversify their revenue streams. Other notable services that offer ad-supported viewing include Netflix, Peacock, HBO Max and Paramount+. Except for needing additional support and advertising partners, we don’t see a downside to offering ad-supported streaming tiers. They benefit subscribers and subscription companies. We do see them evolving in terms of features and competing for price based on customer feedback, but otherwise, they seem like a solid move for streaming services.