Disney+ Adding Ad-Supported Subscription Later This Year

Streaming service Disney+ is adding an ad-supported subscription later this year in the U.S. and plans to offer the ad-based option around the world in 2023.

“Expanding access to Disney+ to a broader audience at a lower price point is a win for everyone – consumers, advertisers, and our storytellers,” said Kareem Daniel, Chairman, Disney Media and Entertainment Distribution, in the company press release Friday (March 4).

“More consumers will be able to access our amazing content,” he said. “Advertisers will be able to reach a wider audience, and our storytellers will be able to share their incredible work with more fans and families.”

Disney’s ad-supported streaming services include Hulu and ESPN+.

“Since its launch, advertisers have been clamoring for the opportunity to be part of Disney+ and not just because there’s a growing demand for more streaming inventory,” said Rita Ferro, president of advertising at Disney Media and Entertainment Distribution, in the company press release.

“Disney+ with advertising will offer marketers the most premium environment in streaming with our most beloved brands, Disney, Pixar, Star Wars, Marvel and National Geographic,” she said. “I can’t wait to share more with advertisers at the Upfront.”

The Disney+ ad-supported option is part of the company’s plan to reach 230 to 260 million subscribers by fiscal 2024. The pricing and launch date of the ad-supported plan will be available later.

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Disney’s first-quarter earnings show that the company had 42.9 million subscribers in the U.S. and Canada at the end of the quarter and 129.8 million Disney+ subscribers globally, including India’s Disney+ Hotstar, which accounts for 45.9 million of that total.

Disney+ launched in 2019 offering a $12.99 bundle of Disney+, ESPN+ and Hulu. That bundle is now priced at $13.99, or $19.99 a month for subscribers who like their Hulu experience to be ad-free.

Netflix — whose monthly plans run from $9.99 for Basic, $15.99 for Standard and $19.99 for Premium — has about 222 million subscribers.