Disney+ is due to roll out its ad-supported tier in late 2022.
When The Walt Disney Company confirmed that this new streaming tier was coming, Variety reported:
No pricing or specific launch date was announced. The AVOD version of Disney Plus will be offered at a price less than the regular ad-free version, which in the U.S. costs $7.99 per month.
Disney said the ad-supported version of Disney Plus is a “building block” for the company’s target of reaching 230 million-260 million Disney Plus subscribers worldwide by the end of its 2024 fiscal year. At the end of 2021, Disney Plus had 129.8 million paying customers worldwide, gaining 11.8 million for the quarter ended Jan. 1, 2022.
Now, the number of ads that Disney’s new ad-supported streaming tier will have has been confirmed. Per MarketWatch via The Wall Street Journal:
…[Disney] plans to limit itself to four minutes of commercials per hour of programming on its new advertising-supported version of Disney+ streaming service…The media company also said no advertising will be shown at all to preschoolers who are using their own profile to watch the service. The four minutes of commercials per hour amounts to about half the advertising time on Hulu, which Disney also controls.
The article also noted that Disney will beat its competitors in this area, as many other streamers show over four minutes of ads per hour. HBO Max, however, has committed to the same number of advertisements.
Last week, during Disney’s 2022 Q2 earnings call, CEO Bob Chapek confirmed that the company will continue to raise prices for Disney+ subscribers who do not opt for the cheaper ad-based tier.
Chapek shared that with the ad tier allowing the company to reach “an even more broad audience, ” he feels confident that they can “increase content investment” and “give us the ability to increase our price” without cheapening the platform’s value proposition.
More on Disney+
Disney+ is the streaming home of nearly all of Disney’s subsidiaries, including Walt Disney Animation Studios, Marvel Studios, Lucasfilm/Star Wars, and Pixar Animation Studios.
Since it debuted in 2019, notably, an entire catalog of Star Wars and MCU movies, including the nine-film Skywalker Saga and the entire Avengers Infinity Saga, have been added to the popular platform, which has exceeded all subscriber expectations.
The Mandalorian — which introduced Grogu (AKA “Baby Yoda”) and bounty hunter Din Djarin (Pedro Pascal) to the Star Wars universe — quickly skyrocketed up the charts as the cornerstone of the Disney+ service.
Both the Marvel Cinematic Universe and Star Wars have released numerous Disney+ Original series in addition to their feature films. Star Wars, for instance, has given fans two seasons of The Mandalorian, two animated series — Star Wars: Visions and Dave Filoni’s Star Wars: The Bad Batch — and, now, Mandalorian spinoff The Book of Boba Fett.
Another live-action installment, Obi-Wan Kenobi, is due to drop its first two episodes on May 27, 2022.
Marvel President Kevin Feige’s team has also been hard at work, putting out five series — WandaVision, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, Loki, What If…?, and Hawkeye — in 2021 alone. A six-episode season of Moon Knight kicked off the MCU’s 2022 slate, which also includes Ms. Marvel and She-Hulk.