In November 2019, Disney jumped into the streaming game and launched its own streaming service, Disney+. There were a number of great original shows, like The Imagineering Story, as well as classic 90s shows that let subscribers indulge in a Disney afternoon — think Chip n’ Dale Rescue Rangers, Adventures of the Gummi Bears, Tailspin, and Darkwing Duck. Couple that with the hundreds of animated and live-action Disney films and new Marvel and Star Wars shows like She-Hulk and The Mandalorian, and you’ve got one heck of a platform.
Since its 2019 launch, Disney+ has seen a constant increase in the number of subscribers, and it currently has more than 150 million subscribers. During its third-quarter earnings call, Disney CEO Bob Chapek and CFO Christine McCarthy said that they expect Disney+ to be profitable by 2024, which is impressive, considering how much they spend to create shows like The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, The Mandalorian, and Ms. Marvel.
However, could Disney soon see the unthinkable happen? Could Disney+ actually have a sharp drop in subscriber numbers?
On December 8, Disney+ will launch an ad-supported version of the service. The price for Disney+ with ads will be $7.99 per month. Now, if you are a current Disney+ subscriber, you know that that is what the ad-free tier costs right now. When the ad-supported tier launches, the cost of the ad-free version of Disney+ will increase almost 50%, costing $10.99 per month.
Before Disney+ launched, those who were members of Disney’s official fan club — D23 — were allowed to sign up for a three-year contract, paying just $80 for those three years. This November, those three years will be up, so it will be interesting to see how many people are willing to go from spending about $3 per month to $10.99 per month if they want to continue to watch Disney+ without ads, something they have become used to. We know that Disney will most likely see a drop in the number of ad-free subscribers, since the ad-supported tier is the more wallet-friendly offering. What will be interesting is to see how the overall subscriber numbers increase, or if they do at all.
We won’t know much about how Disney+ fares in the fourth quarter until early next year, but it will be interesting to see what happens to Disney+ when the price goes up.
Will you be getting rid of your Disney+ subscription when the price increase goes into effect?