Disney+ Subscribers Will Have to Dig Deeper Into Their Wallets 

Streaming is about to become a lot more expensive for Disney+ subscribers; 2023 has been a rather tumultuous year in the streaming category and that was before the two major industry strikes rocked Hollywood.

Netlflix, Warner/Discovery, and Paramount Plus have made big changes and now Disney is making its strategic move to match the competition. There is a lot to go through as Disney+, Hulu, and ESPN are all involved. 

Disney’s Streaming Plans

Following the Disney+ launch of a new ad-supported tier in the U.S., it will also be available in select markets in Europe and Canada beginning November 1, 2023. 

On September 6, 2023, Disney is also launching a new ad-free bundled Disney+ Premium and Hulu subscription plan for $19.99/month.

Disney+ is also offering new Standard and Standard with Ads tiers in select EMEA (Europe, Middle East, and Africa) markets and Canada. 

The new ad-supported plans start at £4.99/€5.99 month in EMEA and $7.99/month in Canada. Existing subscribers in selected markets will remain in the Premium tier with No Ads when their subscription price increases in December 2023, unless they opt to switch to one of the new lower-priced plans.

Disney+ Logo

From Joe Earley, President, Direct-to-Consumer, Disney Entertainment: “The strong momentum of our ad-supported plans in the U.S. demonstrates the importance of providing consumers with choice, flexibility, and value,…We are excited to expand that offering in more markets across the globe, including in Europe and Canada, and to launch a new premium duo bundle of ad-free Disney+ and Hulu this Fall, as we take steps toward making extensive Hulu content available via Disney+ later this year for Bundle subscribers.

The ad-supported, Standard, and Premium plans in select European markets and Canada offer access to the Disney+ content library and key product features including:

  • Exclusive Originals & Library Content: Thousands of award-winning titles across films, documentaries, TV series, and shorts, all in one place.
  • Profiles: Users can create multiple profiles per account, with the option to set profile PINs and content ratings by profile through Parental Controls.
  • Concurrent Viewing: Users will be able to stream on up to four supported devices simultaneously, depending on the plan.
Hulu Disney+ ESPN+

New Pricing

Beginning October 12, 2023 (unless otherwise indicated), the new pricing for Disney+, Hulu, and ESPN+ ad-supported and ad-free plans in the U.S. include:

Subscription Service Subscription Tier Monthly Price Annual Price
Disney+ With Ads $7.99 N/A
Disney+ No Ads $7.99 $139.99
Hulu With Ads $7.99 $79.99
Hulu No Ads $17.99 N/A
Hulu Disney+ with Ads (Add On) $2.00 extra N/A
Hulu ESPN+ on Hulu (Add On) $10.99 extra NA
ESPN+ With Ads $10.99 $109.99
ESPN+ UFC (Standalone)  $79.99 per event $79.99 per event
ESPN+ UFC PPV – Annual  N/A $134.99
Bundle Offer (Duo Premium) – Available 9/6/2023 Disney+ (No Ads), Hulu (No Ads) $19.99 N/A
Bundle Offer (Duo Basic) Disney+ (with Ads) Hulu (with Ads) $9.99 N/A
Bundle Offer (Trio Premium) Disney+ (No Ads), Hulu (No Ads), ESPN+ (with Ads) $24.99 N/A
Bundle Offer (Trio Basic) Disney+ (with Ads), Hulu (with Ads), ESPN+ (with Ads) $14.99 N/A
Hulu + Live TV With Ads  $76.99 N/A
Hulu + Live TV No Ads $89.99 N/A

Disney Password Sharing Crackdown

Along with all the plan and pricing changes, Disney also announced it will also implement its own password sharing crackdown plan sometime in 2024. Disney claims they have the ability to monitor service sign-ins (probably like the Netflix crackdown works). The first step will be to update subscriber agreements with additional terms of service addressing password sharing. No further details have been revealed. 

Rumor: Will Apple Buy Disney?

There has been an on-and-off rumor that Apple may want to buy Disney, but up to this point, it has been dismissed. However, the tide may be changing and even the Hollywood Reporter is fueling credibility to this possibility – perhaps not in 2024, but don’t count it out.

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Disney is valued at $202 billion, but it is dwarfed by Apple’s $2.8 trillion dollars in assets (including $60 billion dollars in cash!).

This means that Apple can certainly afford to buy Disney, but a lot might depend on whether Disney’s parks, studios and other products fit into Apple’s long-term goals. If Apple decides to make such a move and Disney agrees, there are also possible government approval hurdles.

Any acquisition would impact ESPN and ABC News which are also owned by Disney; ESPN recently fired some of its on-air talent with more than 2 decades at the network and interim Disney CEO, Bob Iger, has made some public statements that would suggest that Disney may not see the sports channel as part of its core business going forward.

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