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Disney+ to Add Cheaper, Ad-Filled Subscription Option

Since Disney+ first launched, it has remained ad-free for all subscribers. But The Walt Disney Company just announced that it will be offering a less expensive tier of their streaming service with ads.

According to reporter Ashley Carter:

Disney has announced it will add an ad-supported subscription plan to its #DisneyPlus streaming service later this year. Details about the new tier, such as pricing and a launch date, will be announced at a later date.

Currently, Disney+ only offers one tier of service for $7.99 a month or $79.99 a year with the Disney Plus Bundle starting around $14 a month, and occasionally releasing new movies via extra-cost “premier access.” Its adopted sister streaming service, Hulu, and competitors like Netflix and Peacock, already offer multiple subscription tiers that include ads. In fact, NBCUniversal’s streaming service (Peacock) offers a base service with limited ads and limited access that is completely free.

Disney+ bundle

Credit: Disney

It should be noted that Disney+’s single-level subscription option is already ad-free and already less expensive than Netflix, Peacock, Amazon Prime Video, and HBO Max.

As of January 1, 2022, Disney+ had 129.8 million subscribers, adding 11.7 million members in the last three months of 2021.

Disney’s Press release on the matter states,

Disney+ will expand its offerings for consumers by introducing an ad-supported subscription in addition to its option without ads, beginning in the U.S. in late 2022, with plans to expand internationally in 2023…The ad-supported offering is viewed as a building block in the Company’s path to achieving its long-term target of 230-260 million Disney+ subscribers by FY24.

“Expanding access to Disney Plus to a broader audience at a lower price point is a win for everyone — consumers, advertisers, and our storytellers,” Kareem Daniel, chairman of Disney Media and Entertainment Distribution, said in the press release. “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.”

“Since its launch, advertisers have been clamoring for the opportunity to be part of Disney+ and not just because there’s a growing demand for more streaming inventory,” said Rita Ferro, President, Advertising, Disney Media and Entertainment Distribution. “Disney+ with advertising will offer marketers the most premium environment in streaming with our most beloved brands, Disney, Pixar, Star Wars, Marvel and National Geographic. I can’t wait to share more with advertisers at the Upfront.”

This news comes as Disney’s streaming service begins to add several Marvel shows from Netflix, prompting an update in its parental controls in the U.SS. Click the link below to read our coverage on that.

Read More: Disney+ Adjusts Parental Controls as Marvel Series Arrive from Netflix

Along with the addition of more less-than-friendly entertainment, it has been reported that Disney+ is experimenting with live-stream capabilities in its domestic market. Hulu already offered ad-filled less-expensive access options and was known for providing live-stream capabilities and more adult content. As Disney+ begins to adopt more of those characteristics, one has to begin to wonder what the future looks like for Hulu.

The news of a cost-effective, ad-tolerating tier also leaves this reporter thinking: could a third, higher tier be on the way as well that provides automatic access to new movie releases that would otherwise be labeled extra-cost, premier access like Jungle Cruise, Mulan, and Cruella?

Cruella, Disney+

Credit: Disney

This is a developing story, and we at Disney Fanatic will continue to update our readers as more information comes to light.

About T.K. Bosacki

TK is a writer and editor based in Tampa, FL with a passion for all things Disney, and adventure.