Struggling Disney+ Gives Away Six-Month Subscriptions for Free

in Disney, Movies & TV

Streaming service synergy: hulu, disney+, and espn+ logos intertwined with colorful dynamic lines against a dark blue background.

Credit: Disney

Disney+ is doing everything it can to get new customers to stick with the streaming service as it continues to lose the company money, but now it has a novel strategy: giving away six-month subscriptions for free.

Bob Iger with a serious expression standing beside the iconic disney logo with a blue gradient background.
Credit: Inside the Magic

Disney CEO Bob Iger has openly admitted that the company’s proprietary streaming platform is nowhere close to making money, even as the subscription price has doubled since 2019 and more and more ads are heaped on the likes of Secret Invasion and The Mandalorian. Disney+ was introduced as the next big competitor to Netflix, but even Iger has to concede that its technology and popularity are nowhere near what it needs to be.

Since Disney+ launched five years ago, it has constantly lost money for the Mouse. It was considered an improvement for the service to lose only $300 million at the tail end of 2023, not to mention losing 1.3 million subscription accounts. Now that consumers are getting more and more fed up with the constant push toward an ad-support subscription option and the blowback from the forced merger of Hulu with Disney+, the company is clearly getting desperate.

A serene twilight sky backs the iconic fairy tale castle as the luminous walt disney pictures logo takes center stage.
Credit: Disney

Related: Disney+ Scores Much-Needed New Streaming Hit After Losing Billions

For once, that appears to be in the public’s favor. The Walt Disney Company is teaming up with Verizon Wireless to offer a free Disney+ Bundle subscription for six months to customers who switch to an Unlimited plan. Unusually, this deal is good for both new and existing customers for both Disney+ and Verizon and has benefits that extend past the initial six-month offer.

This Disney Verizon offer has a precedent: the two companies teamed up for the streaming service’s launch and offered a free year subscription to new customers, which was a huge boost for Disney+ in its early days. This new Disney Bundle deal will offer Disney+, Hulu, and ESPN+ access for anyone who switches to an Unlimited Ultimate or Unlimited Plus Verizon Plan.

Of course, there are some caveats. The official legalese of the offer notes that anyone with a Disney Bundle subscription will still have to jump through some hoops: “If you are billed for your subscription to the Disney Bundle through Hulu (With Ads), this promotional offer will not automatically replace that subscription” and “If you have an existing Disney+ subscription, and your Disney+ subscription is through a third party like Apple, Roku or others, the Disney+ On Us and the Disney Bundle On Us offers will not automatically replace your existing subscription.”

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

Additionally, it states:

If you do not have an existing subscription to Disney+ Premium (No Ads), you agree that when your Disney+ Premium (No Ads) Promotional Period expires, your Verizon account will be charged $13.99/month (plus tax where applicable) for Disney+ Premium (No Ads), or $18.99 (plus tax where applicable) for the Disney Bundle, and your subscription will auto-renew unless you cancel through Verizon prior to such expiration.

Related: Bob Iger Drops Bombshell News, Will Change Disney+ Forever in 2025

Disney Entertainment executive VP of platform distribution Sean Breen said, via a statement, “Our ongoing collaboration with Verizon underscores our commitment to providing their customers with exceptional offers for our unrivaled streaming content. With this new promotional perk, we’re thrilled that Verizon customers will have access to best-in-class entertainment from Disney+, Hulu, and ESPN+.”

No doubt, Disney hopes to shore up its constant loss of subscribers with some help from Verizon. It might get a boost for a while, but one has to wonder what the next plan is six months from now.

Do you subscribe to a Disney Bundle, and if so, is it worth it? Tell us about your experiences below!

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