Disney+ Slashes Prices, Makes Last Ditch Attempt To Win Back Audiences

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Scrooge McDuck over an image of someone holding a phone with Disney+ on the screen

Credit: Inside the Magic

In a desperate attempt to win back subscribers, Disney+ has slashed its prices for a limited time only.

What started as a streaming success story has quickly devolved into a nightmare for the Walt Disney Company. Upon its launch in 2019, the platform managed to sign up more customers in one day than HBO Now, CBS All Access + Showtime, ESPN+, DAZN, and Crunchyroll had signed up ever.

Disney+ ad featuring Disney and Pixar characters
Credit: Disney

Related: Disney Dilutes More Content, Gives Away Classic Series To Save Streaming Service

Within a few months, the pandemic started, and demand for streaming services – and new content – boomed. The likes of The Mandalorian and WandaVision proved incredibly popular for Disney+, with plenty more Star Wars and Marvel Cinematic Universe content on the way.

But as the world reopened, things started to go awry for Disney+. As older audiences complained about the lack of variety in terms of content, subscriber growth slowed and eventually began to drop entirely.

Wandavision: Paul Bettany and Elizabeth Olsen
Credit: Marvel Studios

According to Disney’s Q3 2023 Earnings Call, Disney+ subscribers have dropped to 146.1 million. This falls significantly short of Disney’s goal of 154.8 million subscribers and follows another massive loss in Q2.

Recent reports suggest that Disney’s flailing subscriber model played a huge part in former Disney CEO Bob Chapek’s departure from the company. In 2022, less than three years after his retirement, Chapek was fired, and Bob Iger was brought back to set the Walt Disney Company on a more positive path.

Righting the wrongs of Disney+ has so far involved culling content – including original content, such as Willow and The World According to Jeff Goldblum – and moving towards merging the platform with Hulu. Currently, countries outside the United States already have access to Hulu content within Disney+.

Disney+, ESPN+, and Hulu logos
Credit: Disney

Related: Controversial Content Returns to Disney+ After Fan Backlash

Disney plans on cutting down on password sharing and will “roll out tactics sometime in 2024.” It has also introduced a cheaper, ad-supported version of Disney+ known as Disney+ Basic. This involves no more than four minutes of advertising, through which you cannot fast forward.

Now, for a limited time, Disney+ has slashed prices of this version of the streaming service. From September 6 to September 20, 2023, both new and returning Disney+ customers in the United States can subscribe to Disney+ Basic for $1.99 a month for three months. This is 75% off the regular Disney+ Basic price of $7.99.

All of the different Disney+ titles surrounding the logo
Credit: Disney

While Disney+ Basic receives a discount, the price of Disney+ Premium is jumping by 27% from $10.99 to $13.99 a month in the US. Disney has also launched a new ad-free bundled subscription plan that combines Disney+ with Hulu for $19.99/month, making it 37% cheaper than purchasing both plans separately.

The latest titles to launch on Disney+ involve Ahsoka, a live-action miniseries that serves as a spinoff to Star Wars Rebels and Star Wars: The Clone Wars, the second season of Guardians of the Galaxy (2014) spinoff I Am Groot and the streaming debut of The Little Mermaid (2023).

Are you currently subscribed to Disney+? Let us know your thoughts on the streaming service in the comments!

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