HBO Max just unveiled its lower-priced subscription plan with commercials, and Paramount+ recently relaunched its ad-supported plan at an even cheaper price point. Just don’t expect Disney+ to follow suit, or at least not in the near term.
During the Credit Suisse 23rd Annual Communications Conference on Tuesday, Disney CEO Bob Chapek said that an ad-supported version of Disney+ isn’t currently on tap, according to The Verge, although—predictably—he didn’t dismiss the idea entirely.
“We’re always reevaluating how we go to market across the world, but we’ve got no such plans now to do that,” Chapek said at the conference. “We’re happy with the models that we’ve got right now.”
Indeed, Disney+’s pricing model seems to be working pretty well. The streamer reported in May that it has signed up more than 100 million subscribers, a spectacular figure given that the service only launched about a year and a half ago.
The lone Disney+ membership tier currently costs $8 a month, following a one-dollar price hike back in March.
That’s a relative bargain compared to HBO Max and Paramount+ two competing services that just rolled out new, ad-supported tiers.
HBO Max, which charges a lofty $15 a month for commercial-free streaming, teed up a $10-a-month “With Ads” plan earlier in June, although even that new, ad-supported tier costs more than Disney+’s commercial-free offering.
Meanwhile, Paramount+ just replaced its older $6-a-month ad-supported plan with a new $5/month Essentials tier, which is basically the same plan minus access to live feeds of local CBS affiliates. For commercial-free streaming, Paramount+ charges $10 a month.
At just $8 a month for its single, no-ads tier, it’s easy to see why Disney isn’t too worried about spinning up a cheaper, ad-supported version of its enormously popular streaming service. Disney further pads its Disney+ revenue stream by charging $30 Premier Access fees, so subscribers can get early access to its tentpole films, with Cruella being the most recent.
By not crossing that $10-a-month barrier, Disney+ is easy to sneak into one’s monthly nut, and given its arsenal of Marvel, Star Wars, and Pixar movies, the streamer has become as much of an essential utility in our household as Netflix is. An ad-supported Disney+ may arrive someday—heck, anything’s possible—but probably not anytime soon.