Disney’s streaming service should offer the same kind of deal as some of its biggest rivals. A monthly fee is enough to guarantee unlimited streaming on a variety of devices, and in this case, the monthly fee is a lot lower than most rivals. But even though Disney+ is supposed to deliver an ad-free experience like Netflix, you’ll still see one particular type of commercial, and there’s a good reason for it.
Disney has to fix a problem of its own making, The Verge explains, and that’s to regain streaming rights to some of its most popular titles. To do that, Disney will either wait for some contracts to expire, as is the case with Netflix, or just place limited ads on Disney+ for Starz. Why? Because Disney has reworked its licensing deal with Starz and will include ads pointing to the competing channel in order to stream films like Star Wars: The Force Awakens. The Starz ads will appear on the login pages of Disney+ and ESPN+, as well as inside the mobile app and in browsers, a person familiar with the deal said. The ads will then disappear once you log into the service.
Star Wars fans will be happy to hear that the first two trilogies, The Force Awakens and Rogue One, will be available for streaming on Disney+ on launch day. The upcoming Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker as well as Solo: A Star Wars Story will be available within the first year. The Last Jedi, meanwhile, will be available once the Netflix deal expires at the end of the year.
Starz licensed The Force Awakens and a few Marvel movies well before the Disney+ announcement in 2017, which is why Disney had to fix the deal to make sure Disney+ subscribers would have access to these properties. It’s unclear how long these ads will show up on Disney+, but they shouldn’t be that bothersome, especially if your browser logs you in automatically.