Disney has announced plans to introduce a lower cost version of its Disney+ streaming service.
The company is launching the service, which will be ad-supported, to expand its customer base.
Set to be introduced in the US this year and internationally in 2023, the new ad-supported subscription tier will enable more Disney fans to watch new and classic movies for less than the current US$7.99 monthly spend.
Although Disney+ boasted 129.8 million users as of January 2022 – an increase of more than 100 million in the past two years – Disney wants more viewers to be able to access its “amazing content”.
In a statement, Disney Media and Entertainment Distribution Chairman Kareem Daniel said “expanding access to Disney+ to a broader audience at a lower price point is a win for everyone – consumers, advertisers, and our storytellers”.
“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,” he said.
The range of advertisers Disney+ could attract will no doubt be as wide as its audience, with the service being the online home for all Disney, Pixar, Star Wars, Marvel, and National Geographic content.
This lower-cost subscription is set to become a crucial part in the platform reaching its goal of having 230-260 million users by the 2024 financial year – double its current amount.
While the plans are in motion to bring this affordable price tier to market this year, no exact pricing has been disclosed by Disney as yet.
Disney+ won’t be the only service offering an ad-supported tier, with WarnerMedia, Comcast, Discovery, and Paramount Global also offering the same service to US customers.
Disney already offers ad-supported subscriptions for its Hulu and ESPN+ services as well.
Additionally, a lower-cost version of Disney+ called Hotstar is offered in select countries including India, which is used by 37 percent of subscribers according to Variety.