Disney Plus might not be as convenient as we’re used to – unless you’re willing to pay more. Starting December 8, the cost of the ad-free plan will increase in price, with a new ad-supported plan proposed to the viewers.
New Subscription Tier For Disney Plus Viewers
Disney announced a few upcoming changes to the Disney Plus streaming service. First of all, the company is introducing a new subscription plan to the users: it will have ads at the cost of $7.99 per month. That’s exactly how much the ad-free version will cost until December 8. After that, the ad-free tier will increase in price by $3. So far, it’s the largest price hike the service has had since its founding in 2019. Previously, the cost for the subscription was raised by $1 in March 2021, so, this might come as a big surprise for some of the users. Yet, the company talked about a future price increase at the end of 2022. Moreover, it’s well-deserved. The last quarter proved to be successful for the service.
Despite Wall Street already addressing high expectations for Disney Plus, the service garnered a total of 14.4 million new subscribers. Right now, there are 152.1 million people subscribed to the service. As soon as the results came out, Disney shares flew 6.5% up in after-hours trading. Apart from the streaming service, Disney received $21.5 billion in revenue for the second quarter and a net profit of $1.4 billion. That’s up 26% and 53% from a year ago, respectively. All of Disney’s streaming hustles have 221 million subscribers in total, while Netflix’s count is 220.6 million. That said, the latter hopes to launch its ad-supported tier in 2023, too.
Great Experience For The Viewers
Despite the unpleasant announcement, Disney is assuring viewers that the ads won’t bother them as much. The ad-filled tier will have a “lower ad load and frequency to ensure a great experience for viewers,” Disney CEO Bob Chapek said during the company’s third-quarter earnings call. Chapek and the team are very proud of the company’s accomplishments. “We had an excellent quarter, with our world-class creative and business teams powering outstanding performance at our domestic theme parks, big increases in live-sports viewership, and significant subscriber growth at our streaming services,” he also wrote in the company’s letter to investors.
So, how many ads will be there? Outsider reports say that Disney wants to keep all ad breaks around four minutes per hour of screen time. On the same third-quarter earnings call, CFO Christine McCarthy mentioned that ads won’t be displayed on children’s profiles. After introducing the ad tier in the US, it will become international in 2023. Unfortunately, there’s no way to buy it annually. Only individuals with a more expensive tier can use that option. Now, it will cost $109.99 instead of $79.99. That said, the premium Disney Bundle will stay the same: $19.99 for Disney+ and Hulu with no ads.
More Disney bundles are coming out soon. Disney Plus and Hulu with ads for $9.99, and ESPN+, Disney Plus, and Hulu with ads for $12.99. Streaming services tied in bundles seem to become a constant in 2022.