Even though Disney+ keeps hitting subscriber highs while Netflix feels the struggle, there’s no reason why the streaming home of the MCU and Star Wars can’t benefit from using ad dollars to keep cranking out original TV shows. That’s especially the case because Baby Yoda’s a diva and it ain’t cheap to keep that kid in macarons, and someone needs to be paid to write the inevitable Grogu/Frank Castle crossover.
In all seriousness, though, Disney+ is fast approaching the three-year mark, and they’re switching things up, so they can keep staying fresh. Rather than outright raise prices, though, they’re giving people the option to stay at the same $7.99 current monthly price and watch ads in the middle of The Empire Strikes Back (under the new Disney+ Basic plan), or pay a few dollars more to stay ad-free at $10.99 per month (a plan that will be known as Disney+ Premium). The new structure shall begin on December 8, and Variety has more on how many ads, exactly, that one should plan to see:
Disney+ Basic will launch with about four minutes of ads per hour. It will start with 15- and 30-second spots but will expand to a “full suite of ad products” over time…The strategy appears aimed at mitigating Disney+ subscriber irritation over the price hike on the no-ads plan — and the inevitable cancelations.
Notably, the ads will stay family friendly, which won’t be everyone’s cup of tea but is better kiddos inadvertently seeing inappropriate stuff when parents walk out of the room. And let’s get real, there’s no way to tell who’s watching what based upon title, so we can all deal with child-appropriate ads, even while watching Alien. If you’re a bundler, here’s some more confusion to sort through:
[A]s of Oct. 10, Disney will increase the price of Hulu with ads, from $6.99 to $7.99 per month, while the ad-free tier will go from $12.99 to $14.99 per month. The Disney Bundle in the U.S. (Hulu with ads, Disney+ no ads, ESPN+) will go from $13.99 to $14.99 per month; the premium version of the bundle (Hulu no ads, Disney+ no ads, ESPN+) will remain at $19.99 per month.
Good luck keeping it all straight, but it’s still better than ending up with an overpriced cable plan where you can’t pick and choose your poisons.