BURBANK, Calif.—Disney+ made its much anticipated move into the ad-supported streaming business with more than 100 advertisers on board for the Dec. 8 launch of the $7.99 a month ad-supported Basic Disney+ tier.
The company also announced new subscription plans with ads across the Disney Bundle and Hulu + Live TV are also now available, delivering viewers more options to choose a plan that best serves their needs to stream their favorite content.
“Today’s launch marks a milestone moment for Disney+ and puts consumer choice at the forefront,” said Michael Paull, president, Direct to Consumer. “With these new ad-supported offerings, we’re able to deliver greater flexibility for consumers to enjoy the full breadth and depth of incredible storytelling from The Walt Disney Company.”
“Today we welcome Disney+ with ads to the largest, most diverse and impactful portfolio in the industry,” said Rita Ferro, president, Disney Advertising. “We are committed to connecting our clients to the best storytelling in the world while delivering innovation and viewer-first experiences in streaming now and in the future.”
Unlike the Netflix ad-supported tier, which launched with less content than the main tier and a lower resolution 720p stream, Disney reported that the Disney+ Basic subscribers will enjoy the full content catalog and key product features that are also offered on a Disney+ Premium plan. Disney said this includes: :
- Exclusive Originals & Library Content – an ever-growing collection of thousands of titles across films, documentaries, series, and shorts, plus unprecedented access to Disney’s long history of incredible film and television entertainment
- Profiles – create up to seven profiles per account, with the ability to set profile PINs and content ratings by profile through Parental Controls
- Concurrent Viewing – stream on up to four supported devices simultaneously
- High-Quality Video Formats – including, where supported, 4K Ultra HD, Dolby Vision, Full HD, HDR10, and Expanded Aspect Ratio with IMAX Enhanced
- Existing Disney+ subscribers have the option to switch to the Basic plan for $7.99/month. Those that choose to remain a Premium subscriber for $10.99/month or $109.99/year require no further action, Disney said.
However, Disney+ Basic subscribers will not have access to Premium features like Downloads or GroupWatch and SharePlay, as well as Dolby Atmos at launch.
Disney also unveiled a new slate of ad-supported plans now available in the U.S.:
- Basic Disney+ for $7.99/month
- Disney Bundle Duo Basic with Disney+ (With Ads), Hulu (With Ads) for $9.99/month
- Disney Bundle Trio Basic with Disney+ (With Ads), Hulu (With Ads), ESPN+ (With Ads) for $12.99/month
- Hulu (With Ads) + Live TV with Hulu (With Ads) + Live TV, plus access to Disney+ (With Ads) and ESPN+ (With Ads) for $69.99/month
Disney did not describe the ad load that the tier would offer but said that it launched with a roster of blue chip brand advertisers from all major agency holding companies including Dentsu, Havas, Horizon, IPG, Omnicom Group, Publicis, RPA, Stagwell and WPP.
The brands represent over a dozen categories including (retail, apparel, autos, financial services, restaurants, technology, telcom, CPG, travel).
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George Winslow is the senior content producer for TV Tech. He has written about the television, media and technology industries for nearly 30 years for such publications as Broadcasting & Cable, Multichannel News and TV Tech. Over the years, he has edited a number of magazines, including Multichannel News International and World Screen, and moderated panels at such major industry events as NAB and MIP TV. He has published two books and dozens of encyclopedia articles on such subjects as the media, New York City history and economics.
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