Disney has revealed a new, ad-funded subscription plan that’s coming to Disney Plus, confirming the rumours of a new tier that surfaced earlier this week.
The ad-supported tier will launch in the US in late 2022 before expanding to the other regions in 2023, though Disney has yet to confirm where exactly the cheap plan will be available.
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Disney+ offers access to loads of original shows like The Mandalorian and Hawkeye, classic films and content from big brands like Star Wars, Marvel and Pixar.
“Expanding access to Disney+ to a broader audience at a lower price point is a win for everyone – consumers, advertisers, and our storytellers”, explained Disney Media and Entertainment Distribution chairman Kareem Daniel.
“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”.
According to Disney Media and Entertainment Distribution’s president of advertising Rita Ferro, advertisers have been “clamoring for the opportunity to be part of Disney+” – which airs content from Disney, Pixar, Star Wars, Marvel and National Geographic – since the streaming site’s launch back in 2019.
The company hopes the new tier will help draw in viewers in time to hit its 230-260 million subscriber target by the fiscal year 2024.
Disney has yet to confirm exactly how much the new plan will cost. Currently, a subscription to the streaming service will cost you £7.99/$7.99 a month (or £79.90/$79.99 a year) so, unless Disney raises its prices, you can almost certainly expect the ad-supported version to undercut these numbers.
Rival services like Discovery Plus, Paramount Plus and NBC’s Peacock all offer ad-funded plans for just $4.99 a month in the US, and initial reports from The Information suggest Disney aims to compete with these low costs on its own service.
Hulu, which is owned by Disney, also offers a tier with ads enabled at $6.99 a month, so the new Disney Plus plan could ultimately fall closer to this price.
While putting up with ads isn’t the ideal scenario, having a cheaper option could help Disney fans dealing with rising living costs as well as juggling other subscription services and still continue to get their Star Wars and Marvel fix in 2022 and beyond.