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Disney Plus announces ad tier and price bump for UK and Europe

Disney has announced that the ad-supported tier of its Disney Plus streaming service is coming to the UK and Europe, alongside a third Premium tier that actually represents a huge price bump.

Following an initial rollout in its home market in December, Disney today confirmed that the ad-supported tier of Disney Plus will be coming to more countries. From November 1, Disney Plus customers in the UK, France, Germany, Switzerland, Italy, Spain, Norway, Sweden and Denmark will have access to a new lower payment tier.

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This new ‘Standard with Ads’ tier gives you the service for just £4.99 per month (there’s no money-saving annual option) rather than the current £7.99. All you’ll need to accept is the odd advert, a 1080p (Full HD) maximum streaming resolution, two concurrent device streams at once, and no Dolby Atmos audio support.

Sounds like a good deal, especially as there will still be a Standard tier at £7.99 a month without those ads. Look a little closer, however, and you’ll realise this is actually a not-so-stealthy price hike.

In addition to that cheaper ad-supported tier, Disney is also initiating a third, Premium tier for a price of £10.99 a month. All this actually does is siphon off some of the top end features that current subscribers are already getting for their £7.99.

Most notably, that includes 4K video quality. Current Standard subscribers will essentially be downgraded to Full HD 1080p from December 6 (they get an extra month’s grace) unless they choose to upgrade to the Premium plan.

Standard subscribers will also lose Dolby Atmos support to the Premium tier, as well as the ability to stream to four devices concurrently. Following November 1, it’ll be 5.1/Stereo and two devices, respectively.

All in all, this is bittersweet news from Disney. It’s great that there’ll be a more accessible tier to make the service more affordable to more people. Millions of existing subscribers, however, will be facing an inferior service – or a much more expensive one – following Disney’s changes.

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