Following in HBO Max’s footsteps, Disney+ will debut an ad-supported subscription plan before the year is out.
The long-rumored move became official after Disney execs announced the plan Friday morning, promising to roll out the new ad-supported tier at a “lower price point.”
There’s still no word on how much the ad-supported Disney+ plan will cost, or when exactly it will roll out. In a press release, Disney said the new plan would arrive in “late 2022” in the U.S., and internationally in 2023, adding that more details will come “at a later date.”
Disney+ currently costs $8 a month, following a $1 price hike that hit nearly a year ago. An annual subscription to Disney+ costs $80. You can also get the service along with ESPN+ as part of a Hulu + Live TV subscription for $70 per month.
News of an ad-supported tier for Disney+ comes about nine months after HBO Max rolled out its own “with ads” subscription plan. The HBO Max ad-supported tier costs $10 a month, or $5 less than its standard ad-free plan.
Besides having to sit through advertisements, those who sign up for a cheaper ad-supported streaming plan often have to settle for other compromises.
For example, HBO Max “With Ads” doesn’t offer 4K HDR streaming, nor can you download shows and movies for offline viewing. Disney hasn’t revealed whether the ad-supported version of Disney+ will have similar restrictions.
The Disney+ “with ads” announcement comes about a month after the streamer announced 11.8 million new subscribers for the previous quarter, bringing its total to a mammoth 129.8 million.
That’s still well shy of Netflix’s total of 222 million subscribers, but Disney+ is gaining fast, and Disney is shooting for between 230-260 million subscribers by the 2024 fiscal year.