February 3, 2023

Disney+ is adding a new ad-supported streaming: Talking Tech podcast

2 min read

Welcome back to Talking Tech. If you are a subscriber of Disney+, which if you are a parent, 99% sure you are, you could be soon paying less for the streaming service. In a statement on Friday, Disney said it’s going to roll out an ad supported version of Disney+ later this year. It’s going to roll out in the US by the end of 2022, and then it’s expected to roll out internationally by next year. I write about this in a story that you can read on tech.usatoday.com. Disney says that it’s going to launch at a lower price than the non-ad plan, which right now is available for $7.99 a month, or you can pay annually for $79.99. Disney did not say how much the new subscription option will cost, and it didn’t say whether it’s going to raise the price of its current Disney+ plan.

The language that was used in their statement is very interesting. And I will read the quote from Kareem Daniel, who is the Chairman of Disney Media and Entertainment Distribution, “Expanding access to Disney+ to a broader audience at a lower price point is a win for everyone, consumers, advertisers, and our storytellers.” What I’m going to be interested to see is, is it going to be a lower price point compared to what we’re paying now? Or is Disney+ going to go up in price as we know it, and then we see a plan that’s cheaper, that’s with ads? Again, Disney hasn’t confirmed any of this. They haven’t announced any details about the pricing. But I would not be surprised if we see the plan that we have now with no ads go up in price. And then they roll in this ad supported version that costs maybe a couple dollars less than what we’re paying right now.

But again, it’s a lower price point. So you have options. If you want to pay less and get the ads, you can go that way. If you want no ads, you pay a little bit more. It shouldn’t come as a surprise though, that subscription plans have been going up in price. We just saw Netflix do this in January. They raised their prices on plans. Their basic plans started at $8.99. It’s now $9.99 a month. And some, of course, the other premium plans they have, have gone up in price as well. Amazon, too. They own Prime Video, but they just increased prices for its Prime membership, which is one of the ways you can get Prime Video. For a Prime membership, you pay $139 a year, which is up from $119. If you’re paying month to month, it’s $14.99 now. It used to be $12.99. But again, back to Disney+. I wouldn’t be surprised if we see the no ad plan go up in price.