Media giant, Walt Disney Company, has announced that it will increase prices for customers who want to watch its streaming platforms—Disney+, Hulu, or ESPN+ — ad-free.
Consequently, Disney will launch an ad-supported version on December 8, 2022 for $7.99 per month, the same price as its current ad-free version.
Meanwhile, Disney+ without advertising will rise by 38% to $10.99.
This means that Disney+ subscribers in South Africa will continue to pay R119 ($7.37) per month for its ad-supported tier, while they will pay around R164 ($9.77) to watch without ads.
Disney says the addition of an ad-supported tier is to increase subscribers and revenue by giving customers the option of how much they want to pay for the service.
Hulu's prices will rise by $1 to $2 per month in December, depending on the plan.
Netflix, on the other hand, will launch an ad-supported tier, but we don't know when it will launch in 2023 or how much it will cost. But one thing is sure: it will be cheaper.
In July 2022, Disney announced that it had sold $9 billion in ads for the upcoming TV season, with 40% of that going to its online offerings.
The total number of subscribers to Disney+ has risen to 152.1 million. ESPN+ now has 22.8 million subscribers, while Hulu has 46.2 million (including live TV).
In total, Disney reported 221.1 million streaming subscribers at the end of the June quarter with Hulu and ESPN+ combined. But Netflix reported 220.7 million streaming subscribers.
In 2017, Disney developed a streaming service to compete with Netflix, as audiences shifted away from traditional cable and broadcast television and toward online viewing.
And after five years, Disney has surpassed Netflix in total streaming subscribers. As it released the Star Wars series Obi-Wan Kenobi and Marvel's Ms Marvel in June, 2022, Disney+ added 14.4 million customers, exceeding the consensus of 10 million by FactSet.