If you are a Disney+ streamer, get ready for changes to the subscription options in 2022.
The popular video streaming service announced on Friday, March 4, that an ad-supported version of the product will be available later this year.
The details on things like pricing and start date for the ad-supported version are sparse at this point, but Team Clark will both fill you in on what we know so far and take a look what this announcement could mean for the future pricing of the streaming service.
Disney+ Will Introduce an Ad-Supported Subscription in Late 2022
Disney+ will be adding an ad-supported subscription option to its menu in “late” 2022.
Unfortunately, Disney+ isn’t divulging much in the way the specifics about this move. It isn’t saying yet what the exact price or the release date for the new subscription option will be.
What we do know is that Disney is seeking to reach additional customers at a “lower price point” than the existing $7.99 per month in an effort to achieve the on-demand streaming platform’s stated goal of at least 230 million active subscriptions by the 2024 fiscal year.
“Expanding access to Disney+ to a broader audience at a lower price point is a win for everyone – consumers, advertisers, and our storytellers,” said Kareem Daniel, Chairman, Disney Media and Entertainment Distribution. “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.”
The ad-free experience that existing subscribers enjoy now is not going away, though it is possible that it could see a change in pricing. Let’s talk a little more about that.
What Does This Mean for the Future Pricing of Disney+?
This is uncharted territory for Disney+, which has been an ad-free ecosystem since its launch in 2019.
But we can take a look at the existing ad-supported video streaming service subscriptions available on the market for clues as to what this could mean for the future pricing of Disney+.
Ad-supported subscription tiers on other streaming services has provided a lower-cost option for streamers on a budget.
Here’s a quick look at the price differential for streaming services that offer both ad-supported and ad-free experiences.
Ad-Supported vs. Ad-Free Streaming Pricing
|Streaming Service||Ad-Supported Monthly Price||Ad-Free Monthly Price|
As you can see in the chart above, the spread between ad-supported and ad-free content ranges from $2 to $6 per month.
With an existing ad-free price of $7.99 per month, Disney+ could either offer a significant discount to bring the ad-supported cost under $5, or it could instead choose to raise the pricing on the ad-free subscription as a part of this shift in strategy.
The structure of Paramount+ and Peacock could be a roadmap for Disney. They could try both a $5 and $10 monthly price point based on the subscriber’s tolerance for ads.
It’s worth noting that Hulu is Disney’s streaming partner, so that $6 spread between its ad-supported and ad-free tiers could also be a hint at future pricing.
What About The Disney Bundle?
Right now, The Disney Bundle offers access to Disney+, the ad-supported version of Hulu and ESPN+ for $13.99 per month. That price was increased from $12.99 per month in 2021 following stand-alone monthly price hikes for each of the included services.
The pricing for The Disney Bundle could go a number of different ways as a result of the new ad-supported tier on Disney+.
You might see the existing package stay at $13.99 and a lower price point for those willing to accept ads with Disney+.
Alternatively, the price could stay the same but with a downgraded, ad-supported Disney+ experience along with an option to pay more for ad-free Disney+. The current price for Hulu’s ad-free experience is $19.99 for The Disney Bundle.
We expect that more information on bundle pricing will come later in the year.
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