Disney Slashing the Cost of Disney+!

Disney Plus slashes price

To say that Disney+ is struggling right now would be quite an understatement. The streaming platform is not even four years old, but has already cost The Walt Disney Company billions of dollars. Initially, it looked like Disney+ was set to be a massive success. It launched just a few months before the COVID-19 pandemic hit and the world shut down. With people stuck in their homes, many turned to streaming platforms like Disney+ to help entertain them and take their minds off the terrible virus that was quickly spreading.

Disney Plus password sharing

Credit: Disney

When Disney+ first launched, it was only $6.99 per month, making it a relatively cheap streaming service. There were also several different deals that people could take advantage of to make the service even cheaper. Disney+ was full of classic Disney animated films, hit live-action remakes, original programming, and content from Pixar, Marvel, and Lucasfilm.

Aurora with animals

Credit: Disney

Unfortunately, the initial success of Disney+ was short-lived. The platform is losing millions of subscribers every quarter, and Disney is struggling to make enough original content to drive subscriber growth. In addition to that, subscribers have become frustrated with the dramatic price increases. Disney+ now costs $13.99 for the ad-free tier (the only tier available when it launched). Those who want to save some money can pay $7.99 for the ad-supported tier.

The key to success for Disney+ is, of course, subscriber growth, which isn’t happening the way Disney needs it to. So, Disney has decided to slash its pricing for a limited time in an attempt to draw more people to the platform.

The Mandalorian jumps the shark

Credit: Disney

Per The Hollywood Reporter:

Beginning Wednesday [September 6] and running through Sept. 20, Disney will offer the basic ad tier for $1.99 per month for three months. The tier normally costs $7.99 per month, making the offer an $18 savings. The offer is available to both new and returning subscribers.

While streaming services have historically offered discounts around Black Friday and Cyber Monday, the Disney+ offer is meant to take advantage of a wave of new content set to hit the platform this month.

The new content that Disney is hoping gets people to sign up for Disney+ is its newest live-action film,¬†The Little Mermaid, and Pixar’s new animated film,¬†Elemental.¬†The Little Mermaid¬†was released on Disney+ on September 6, and¬†Elemental¬†will be released on September 13.

Little Mermaid Disney Plus

Credit: Disney

The Little Mermaid¬†fared relatively well in terms of box office success, but Disney is hoping to drive more success to¬†Elemental¬†with its streaming release. Fans loved the story that¬†Elemental¬†told — it has a 93% rating on Rotten Tomatoes — but not enough people went to the theater to see it.

Disney CEO Bob Iger has admitted that Disney is constantly working on ways to bring more subscribers to Disney+ to help the struggling streamer. He has also said that a majority of new subscribers are opting for the cheaper, ad-supported tier, which is probably why the new promotion only applies to that tier. The ad-supported tier will also not be seeing a price increase any time in the near future.

ember and wade in elemental

Leah Lewis as Ember Lumen and Mamoudou Athie as Wade Ripple in ‘Elemental’. Credit: Disney/Pixar

For months, Iger has been working day and night to slash Disney’s budget by $5.5 billion. A lot of that slashing has been directed toward Disney+. In addition to cutting the budgets of nearly every Disney+ production, there have been a number of cancellations. Recently, Disney has canceled¬†Willow, National Treasure: Edge of History, Doogie Kamealoha M.D., Big Shot, Mighty Ducks: Game Changers,¬†and¬†The Mysterious Benedict Society. Disney also canceled two shows —¬†Nautilus and¬†The Spiderwick Chroniclesbefore they even aired.

Willow Disney+

Credit: Disney

Disney+ has also been seeing a huge content purge. During Disney’s third-quarter earnings call, Iger said that some content cost Disney more money to keep on Disney+ than it was bringing in. Disney was taking that content off of the platform, which Disney fans find frustrating because they are now being charged more money for less content.

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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