Since its launch in late 2019, Disney+ has become one of the dominant contenders in the Streaming Wars. Much of that is due to Disney’s strong line of extremely vibrant original shows, such as the Star Wars series The Mandalorian and a range of popular Marvel offerings such as WandaVision† Loki and hawk eye† The platform has also been working to expand its content library, largely by acquiring other studios such as 20th Century Fox in 2020.
Disney+ ended 2021 with a reported 130 million subscribers, which is pretty impressive. The only other streaming platforms ahead of the subscription division are Netflix and Amazon Prime Video, both of which reportedly ended 2021 with over 200 million subscribers.
But at the end of the day, Disney is a company, and all companies ask for is constant growth. The buyers behind Disney+ have an idea to stimulate that more in the coming years.
Disney+ will roll out an ad-based subscription option by the end of this year
Per Syfy Wire, Disney has announced that it is introducing an ad-based subscription option. While other platforms like Netflix are raising their prices to over $15 a month, Disney+ is doing the opposite. Disney+’s standard subscription currently costs $7.99 per month or $79.99 per year, which is already cheaper than its biggest rivals Netflix, Prime Video and HBO Max. The new plan will be even cheaper, the better to get Disney+ in more homes.
“Extending access to Disney+ to a wider audience at a lower cost is a win for everyone — consumers, advertisers and our storytellers,” said CEO Kareem Daniel. “More consumers will have access to our great 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 launch, advertisers have been clamoring for the opportunity to be a part of Disney+ and not just because there is a growing demand for more streaming inventory,” added CEO Rita Ferro. “Disney+ with advertising offers 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 Upfront.”
This is of course not a totally new strategy; many streaming platforms already have ad-based models. Hulu has been doing it for years and HBO Max has a cheaper ad-based plan too. We can only guess that Disney has been taking notes on Hulu since it bought it and has enough data to support a decision like this.
Disney+’s ad-based option is expected to launch in the United States in late 2022, with plans to expand into the international market in 2023.
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