Disney Plus to hike prices, could get ad-supported plan like Netflix

After popular streaming service Netflix announced its plans to bring in an ad-supported Tier to the platform, it seems rival Disney Plus also has similar plans. Disney Plus recently announced that it will be increasing the price of its subscription from USD 7.99 per month to USD 10.99 per month. The company said the new prices will be applicable in the United States starting December 8 this year.

Disney Plus is also working on an ad-supported tier, similar to what Hulu offers. Called Disney Plus Basic, the monthly subscription is priced at USD 7.99 per month. However, this new ad-supported tier will not have an annual plan.

Talking of Hulu, subscribers will have to shell out more money with the ad-supported plan now increased to USD 7.99 per month, bringing it in line with Disney Plus’ ad-supported subscription. Hulu users who are currently on the ad-free tier will see an increase from USD 12.99 per month to USD 14.99 per month.

Hulu said the new prices will be applicable from October 10. ESPN Plus, part of the same bundle, also saw an increase in price with the monthly price going from USD 6.99 per month to USD 9.99 per month.

Why is this happening?

It looks like the increased prices directly stems from the operating loss in Q3 2022, which amounted to USD 1.1 billion. But despite losses, Disney Plus seems to be gaining users, adding more than 14.4 million subscribers in Q3 2022, bringing the total to 152.1 million. It is interesting to note in April this year, Netflix recorded a decrease in its user base for the first time in its history.

Disney will also be offering a bundle that includes access to ad-free Disney Plus and Hulu and an ad-supported ESPN Plus plan priced at $19.99 per month. If you are on a tight budget and don’t mind watching ads on Disney Plus and Hulu, the bundled subscription will cost you USD 9.99, which is a really good deal.

That said, it remains to be seen if the increase in price will affect Disney Plus Hotstar plans in India as well. So far, there’s been no word from Disney Plus Hotstar regarding any price hikes or ad-supported plans.