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ANOTHER Price Increase Coming to Disney+

Disney Plus Price increase

On August 9, The Walt Disney Company held its third-quarter earnings call. Many tuned in to hear what Bob Iger had to say as the company deals with striking writers and actors, lower theme park attendance, and movies that have flopped in theaters. Iger maintained a positive attitude as he spoke about the changes being made within the company to help drive Disney forward. He also stood behind Disney’s decision to get into the gambling arena and refused to talk about the possibility of selling the company to Apple.

Disney Q3 streaming earnings

Credit: Disney

One of the biggest headaches Iger has to deal with is Disney+. The streamer is not quite four years old, but has cost Disney millions. The benefits of Disney+ were frequently touted by now-fired CEO Bob Chapek, but Iger has taken a decidedly more tame approach. Iger has stated that the company will remove content from the platform if it is not performing. Disney will also take a harder look at the content it produces, so less original content will come out, but it will hopefully be more successful.

Bob Chapek

Credit: Disney

When Disney+ was first announced, it was championed as a much cheaper alternative to Netflix. Originally, the ad-free streaming platform only cost $6.99 per month, and subscribers could save if they purchased a year-long subscription. However, a lot can change in four years, and that is certainly the case for Disney+ pricing.

Back in December, Disney+ changed up its game and launched an ad-supported tier. The new tier cost $7.99 per month, while the ad-free tier shot up to $10.99 per month. Now, just eight months later, Disney CEO Bob Iger has announced that another price increase is coming to the streamer.

The imagineering story

Credit: Disney

Beginning October 12, subscribers who wish to keep their Disney+ subscription ad-free will have to pay $13.99. That is a 27% increase from its current price. The Disney+ ad-supported tier will stay the same, continuing to cost $7.99. During the call. Iger said that most new Disney+ subscribers were interested in the ad-supported plan, so they wanted to keep the price down.

Disney+ is not the only streaming service owned by Disney that will see a price increase. Hulu without ads will cost $17.99 per month, a 20% increase. Ad-supported Hulu will stay at the same $7.99 price point.

Hulu

Credit: Hulu

Iger justified the price increases as Disney tried to compete with fellow streamers like Netflix and Max. The Disney CEO believes that the content library of both Disney+ and Hulu can compete with other platforms. Netflix’s basic ad-free tier costs $15.49 per month, so just a little bit more expensive than Disney+.

Iger has been working hard to cut costs associated with Disney+. Nearly every show and movie being made for the streamer has seen their budgets cut. Cuts made to Disney+ will help Iger meet his company-wide budget cut goal of $5.5 billion.

Disney Plus

Credit: Disney

It’s not just the price of making content for Disney+ that has caused a problem at Disney. While subscribers initially flocked to the platform — especially during the pandemic — it has struggled to keep those subscribers. In the second quarter of 2023, Disney+ lost a total of four million subscribers, bringing the total number of subscribers to about 157 million. The streamer fared no better in the third quarter, reporting that their subscriber numbers are at 146 million. That’s a loss of nearly 11 million subscribers.

About Krysten Swensen

A born and bred New England girl living the Disney life in Southern California. I love to read, to watch The Golden Girls, and love everything to do with Disney and Universal. I also love to share daily doses of Disney on my Disney Instagram @BrazzleDazzleDisney!

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