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Disney Plus might get a cheaper ad-supported subscription soon

Updated 9 months ago
Published Mar 4th, 2022 7:31AM EST
Disney Plus Star
Image: Disney

Disney Plus costs $7.99 per month of $79.99 per year in the US, with Disney having raised the price by $1 about a year ago. That’s still a great price, considering the content you’re getting from the service. Disney, Pixar, Star Wars, and Marvel movies and TV shows are all available in one place via Disney Plus. But Disney is already looking at offering customers an even cheaper Disney Plus subscription by bringing ads to the platform.

The move isn’t official yet, but it might be in line with what some of Disney’s rivals are doing in the highly-competitive streaming space to lower costs for consumers.

Disney Plus is expanding

Disney announced it had more than 118 million Disney Plus subscribers worldwide in November, when it celebrated the service’s second anniversary. Since then, Disney Plus has passed the 130 million mark. The growth is remarkable, given that Disney Plus isn’t even available worldwide compared to Netflix.

But Disney is looking to expand that number significantly, aiming to reach between 230 million and 260 million paid customers by 2024. Launching a cheaper ad-supported Disney Plus subscription might help with that. But that’s just a rumor. What is certain is that Disney is expanding the availability of Disney Plus.

The company announced a massive Disney Plus expansion in late January. Disney Plus will be available in 42 additional countries in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa.

Disney did not reveal release dates or pricing tiers for these markets. Nor is it clear whether a cheaper ad-based Disney Plus subscription tier will be available in new regions.

Disney Plus
A collage of movies and TV shows available to stream on Disney+. Image source: Disney

How much will the Disney Plus with ads subscription cost?

According to The Information, Disney is discussing launching the ad-supported version of Disney Plus in the US. The move could help Disney sign up more customers to the service, with the blog noting that growth has started to slow down in the US.

It’s unclear how much the ad version of Disney Plus will cost or when the cheaper subscription will launch.

Disney competitors already serve ad-supported streaming subscriptions to US customers. The list includes Discovery, NBCUniversal, and WarnerMedia. Discovery Plus and Paramount Plus start at $4.99 as long as you don’t mind the ads. That seems like the logical price target for a Disney Plus subscription to show ads. But that’s speculation at this time.

On the other hand, Hulu with ads costs $6.99 per month. That’s another streaming service that Disney operates. And you can bundle Hulu (with ads or without) with Disney Plus and ESPN Plus.

What seems certain is that Disney needs subscriber growth to meet its goals. That includes offsetting costs for new content. Disney plans to spend at least $8 billion per year on Disney Plus movies and TV shows by 2024.

UPDATE: Disney confirmed the ad-supported Disney Plus tier on Friday morning. The company said it’ll introduce the new subscription tier in late 2022 in the US, without providing release or pricing details. Disney also said that international markets will also get the ad-supported Disney Plus tier in 2023.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he closely follows the events in Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises. Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.