Disney Launching Cheaper, Ad-Supported Version of Disney+ Starting in Late 2022 [Updated]
Update March 4: Disney has officially announced that it will be introducing an ad-supported Disney+ subscription starting in the U.S. in late 2022 and expanding internationally in 2023. Pricing has yet to be announced.
A more affordable subscription tier could boost subscriber growth, which The Information says has started to slow. Disney had more than 118 million subscribers in November, at the two year mark after the service launched, and it is now at over 130 million subscribers. Disney expects to have 230 to 260 million paid subscribers by 2024.
Other entertainment companies like Discovery, NBCUniversal, WarnerMedia, and Paramount have launched ad-supported subscription tiers to offer content at multiple price points. Right now, Disney+ is priced at $7.99 per month or $79.99 per year, and an ad-based tier would be cheaper than that.
Discovery+ and Paramount+ offer ad-supported tiers priced at $4.99, so Disney could potentially do something similar, allowing it to boost revenue to offset programming costs. Disney plans to spend at least $8 billion per year on Disney+ by 2024, and the company has so far been adding high-profile new content on a regular basis.
If Disney+ offers an ad-supported tier, it would make Apple TV+ and Netflix two of the only services not to offer a cheaper streaming option. Right now, Apple TV+ is priced competitively even with ad-based services at $4.99 per month, but Apple does not have the wealth of content that other streaming services are able to offer.
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