In November 2019, The Walt Disney Company dove head-first into the streaming service game with the launch of its very own platform, Disney+. Not only did Disney+ have a massive library of classic Disney movies, but there were also films from Pixar, Marvel, and LucasFilm. Since then, Disney has gone full force in creating its own original programming, like The Mighty Ducks: Game Changers, The Mandalorian, and The Falcon and the Winter Soldier.
With each new show and movie it adds, Disney+ seems to grow in popularity. Couple that with the fact that it is one of the more affordable streamers — compared to a platform like Netflix — and it seems to be a winner.
However, this December, Disney+ will experience a price hike of just under 50%. On December 8, Disney will launch an ad-supported tier of Disney+, which will cost $7.99 per month, or $79.99 per year. In turn, the ad-free tier — which is currently the only tier available — will see its price raised from $7.99 per month 10 $10.99 per month or $109.99 per year.
Many people were not pleased to hear how much more they will have to pay if they want to continue to avoid ads, but, according to Walt Disney CEO Bob Chapek, the $10.99 price point is still too low. Chapek spoke about the cost of Disney+ at the Goldman Sachs’ Communacopia + Technology Conference 2022 and his thoughts were reported by Variety:
“I think we’re way underpriced relative to the value we provide,” Chapek said, noting that the core Disney+ service without ads will continue to be priced below several competitors.
Even once the cost of Disney+ without ads goes up to $10.99 per month, the media conglomerate still has a lot of headroom in terms of raising prices, Chapek asserted. “[W]e believe our churn implications of taking up the price… will be negligible,” he said.
The new Disney+ ad tier “will really let us cater to diverse consumer needs,” Chapek said. Disney+ Basic will be “margin-neutral at worst” compared with the ad-free version, he said, so the company is “indifferent” as to which plan consumers choose. “This just puts wind in our sales to achieve the [projected Disney+ subscriber] numbers we stated,” Chapek said.
Before Disney+ launched in 2019, a number of people were able to sign up for special promotional streaming service prices — like that offered to D23 members. Many of those promotions are up this year, so it will be interesting to see just how people respond to the price hike when it is time for them to consider renewal. It will also continue to be cheaper per month if subscribers sign up for the , which includes , Hulu, and ESPN plus.