The days of ad-free streaming seem to be over. Ads are making a comeback, and we are all returning to cable one way or another.
Most of the streaming services have already launched ad-supported tiers of their services. At this point, there are only a few holdouts — Apple TV Plus being an obvious one. However, most of the major streaming services like Netflix and Disney+ give customers the option of paying more for no ads or paying less to deal with some ads. According to Disney, a heck of a lot of people are choosing the ads.
In a press release, the company announced that half of all new subscribers are currently choosing to deal with ads on the streaming service rather than paying a higher price to get rid of them. Disney also noted that between March and September of this year, Disney+ has seen a 35% increase in engagement. Rita Ferro, president of Global Advertising at Disney, said in a statement that the service is also seeing users spend more time in the app.
“Consistent with Disney’s strategic approach, we spent the last 10 months testing, learning and listening to our consumers and clients. That’s how we continue to create viewer-first experiences while simultaneously introducing new capabilities, functionality and formats. We’re seeing increased engagement and time spent, and now providing greater accountability for marketers through robust measurement, proving that premium content matters.”
Disney+ currently offers two tiers of service — a cheaper ad-supported tier and a more expensive ad-free tier. The ad-supported Disney+ Basic plan currently costs $7.99 per month. If you want to live in a world free of ads, the ad-free Disney+ Premium plan currently costs $13.99 per month or $139.99 per year. The company also offers Disney+ in the Disney Bundle, which now comes in five different configurations…which is absolutely insane.
The announcement comes in the same week that Apple announced price increases to Apple TV+, Apple News+, and Apple Arcade, as well as its Apple One bundle.