Disney to Launch Ad-Supported Version of Disney+

(Image credit: Disney)

NEW YORK & BURBANK, CA.—Disney said today it will launch an ad-supported version of its Disney+ streaming service, expected to launch later this year in the U.S and internationally in 2023.

News of the launch comes amid Disney’s increasing focus on advertising technology, which it will preview to advertisers at its May upfront.  

“Expanding access to Disney+ to a broader audience at a lower price point is a win for everyone—consumers, advertisers, and our storytellers,” said Kareem Daniel, Chairman, Disney Media and Entertainment Distribution. “More consumers will be able to access our amazing content. Advertisers will be able to reach a wider audience, and our storytellers will be able to share their incredible work with more fans and families.”

Disney already owns the streaming market’s largest ad-supported OTT service in Hulu and also offers the ESPN+ ad supported service. The ad supported version of Disney+ will have a lower subscription rate, which Disney says will help it achieve its long-term target of 230-260 million Disney+ subscribers by FY24.

Disney+ currently has approximately 130 million subscribers worldwide.

“Since its launch, advertisers have been clamoring for the opportunity to be part of Disney+ and not just because there’s a growing demand for more streaming inventory,” said Rita Ferro, President, Advertising, Disney Media and Entertainment Distribution. “Disney+ with advertising will offer marketers the most premium environment in streaming with our most beloved brands, Disney, Pixar, Star Wars, Marvel and National Geographic. I can’t wait to share more with advertisers at the Upfront.”

More details, including launch date and pricing, will be announced at a later date.

Tom Butts

Tom has covered the broadcast technology market for the past 25 years, including three years handling member communications for the National Association of Broadcasters followed by a year as editor of Video Technology News and DTV Business executive newsletters for Phillips Publishing. In 1999 he launched digitalbroadcasting.com for internet B2B portal Verticalnet. He is also a charter member of the CTA's Academy of Digital TV Pioneers. Since 2001, he has been editor-in-chief of TV Tech (www.tvtech.com), the leading source of news and information on broadcast and related media technology and is a frequent contributor and moderator to the brand’s Tech Leadership events.