Disney is launching a new, cheaper subscription tier of its Disney Plus streaming service in the States with the trade-off of included advertisement breaks within their shows and movies. Whilst this may be off-putting to those who use subscription services to dodge ad breaks, according to reports from Variety and The Wall Street Journal, they can take comfort in knowing that these commercials should remain fairly unobtrusive to their Marvel marathons and Pixar family film nights.
These reports suggest that Disney Plus will only feature four minutes of advertising per hour of content, and children’s profiles will not receive any ads at all. This is mostly proportional to other streaming services with Warner Bros. Discovery’s HBO Max showing four minutes of ads per hour, and NBC’s Peacock showing no more than five; however it does greatly undercut Hulu which can run between nine and twelve minutes of ads per hour of programming.
Disney is remaining cautious to uphold its reputation by ensuring ads are family friendly, meaning no ads relating to alcohol or politics, nor will it accept advertising from any rival entertainment brands or services in order to keep subscribers on Disney Plus and away from its rivals. Furthermore, any programming aimed at pre-school audiences on children’s profiles won’t feature any commercial breaks; this appears to be a priority for Disney who are apparently going to great lengths to prioritise its family-friendly reputation above the inclusion of adverts.
It's worth noting that Disney isn’t the only streaming giant looking to expand its reach to new subscribers by introducing ads. Netflix, who as of late have been taking a beating on the battlefield of the streaming wars, are also looking at introducing an ad-supported subscription tier after it saw its first loss in subscribers for over a decade. Netflix is looking to crack down on password sharing and persuade ex-account scroungers to get their own account by offering a more affordable plan amidst a wave of controversial price increases.
There is no news on how much the ad-supported tier of Disney Plus will cost as of yet, however, we do know that it will launch in late 2022 in the United States, and in other markets in 2023.
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