Disney Plus is set to introduce a new ad-supported tier in its native US market, but an accompanying price bump suggests that the service will effectively be getting worse.
The media giant has announced that a new ad-supported subscription option will be rolling out in the US on December 8, supposedly offering “more choice to consumers than ever before” across its Disney Plus, Hulu, ESPN Plus, and Disney Bundle offerings.
However, a closer look at the new pricing plans reveals that this isn’t the money-saving good news you might have been hoping for. With Disney Plus specifically, this new ad-supported Basic tier will cost $7.99 per month, which is the exact same price US subscribers currently pay for an ad-free subscription.
That very same ad-free subscription will still be on offer from December 8, but it’ll be called the Premium tier, and will cost $10.99 per month or $109.99 per year.
It will not be possible to save money on the new ad-supported tier by purchasing an annual subscription.
We’ve been expecting Disney to roll out an ad-supported tier since early March. What we didn’t expect was a near-40% price bump for the existing service and a total lack of savings from what will inevitably be an inferior product.
We’re not entirely sure what happened to Disney’s official line at the time that it would be “expanding access to Disney+ to a broader audience at a lower price point”.
As for the ads themselves, Disney has said that we can expect to watch four minutes of advertising for every hour of content, and that most ads will be 15 to 30 seconds long. Not all content will have ads, including children’s profiles.
According to the company’s recent earnings call, we can expected this ad tier to roll out to other markets in 2023.