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Here's how Disney Plus will implement its ad-supported plan later this year
- A cheaper Disney Plus subscription plan will launch in the US in late 2022.
- The plan will throw in ads to make up for the lower price.
- Disney Plus is already priced reasonably at $7.99 a month in the US.
Update: May 19, 2022 (2:30 AM ET): Disney Plus has confirmed to The Wall Street Journal that its ad-supported plan coming later this year will carry very few commercials. The service will show about four minutes of ads an hour.
Disney Plus has also decided not to show any ads to preschoolers during programming in the ad-supported version. Preschool children who use their own profiles to watch ad-supported Disney Plus will not see any commercials no matter what they stream.
Company officials told WSJ that the planned four-minute commercial break is smaller than what competitors offer. The ad-supported version of Hulu, for instance, shows twice the amount of commercials as Disney Plus plans to air.
The platform has still not revealed how much the ad-supported tier would cost.
Original article: March 4, 2022 (10:15 AM ET): Disney Plus is already a bargain for most families, offering content like the Star Wars and Pixar movies, most of the Marvel Cinematic Universe films, and much more. All of that is available for just $7.99 a month, or for $13.99 a month with the Disney Plus-Hulu-ESPN Plus bundle. But what if an even cheaper Disney Plus plan was available for people still on the fence?
That’s what Disney is planning to do. The company has announced (via Variety) it will offer a cheaper ad-supported Disney Plus plan starting sometime in late 2022 in the US, with plans to expand it internationally in 2023. These ads will run in between films and TV shows. The price of the cheaper Disney Plus plan has yet to be announced.
Read more: What’s new on Disney Plus
The company stated that the cheaper Disney Plus plan is one of the ways it plans to boost subscription numbers up to at least 230 million worldwide by 2024. That’s apparently the number needed to achieve profitability for the service. Currently, it has close to 130 million worldwide subscribers. By comparison, Disney Plus’ main rival Netflix has close to 222 million paid subscribers worldwide, but it launched its streaming business way back in 2007. Disney would have to see a huge boost in subscription numbers to reach its goal.
Of course, other streaming services have both ad and ad-free plans already. That includes the Disney-controlled Hulu, which has an ad-supported plan for $6.99 a month. Other services like HBO Max, Paramount Plus, and Peacock offer similar ad and ad-free plans. Then there’s the growing number of completely free streaming services competing for eyeballs. That includes the free Peacock plan, along with services like Pluto TV, Tubi, IMDb TV, the Roku Channel, and others.