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Disney+ Reveals Details About Its Ad-Supported Plan

The streaming war feels like it's entering a new phase. Hungry for fresh subscribers, different content outlets have tried a myriad of varying techniques in order to attract them. Some services, like Hulu, offer different tiers of pricing, with the lowest subjected to ads. With recent reports of Netflix suffering a massive loss of paid subscribers, and the company's perpetually forthcoming attempts to curtail password sharing, its streaming rivals definitely smell blood in the water.

Originally launching in November 2019, Disney+ features most of the Disney catalog of movies, shows, and musicals (via The Walt Disney Company). These include everything from Star Wars and Marvel to Mickey Mouse and Disney princesses. Buoyed by its sprawling reach and unparalleled brand recognition, Disney+ has roped in around 137 million subscribers worldwide as of April 2022, which is up 33% from the same time just one year ago (via Deadline).

But the streaming monster needs to be fed. Disney+ is no different than Netflix in that regard. In order to continue growing accruing subscribers and revenue, the service needs to get creative, and unfortunately, that usually means advertising.

Disney+ aims for a light touch with its ad model

As reported by Variety, Disney+ is indeed preparing to launch an ad-supported version of the service. The streamer says it will play no more than four minutes of commercials per hour, and absolutely no commercials if the account is designated to a child. In addition, Disney+ will monitor all commercial content, and it will avoid controversial advertisements for things like alcohol, while also bans on political advertisements and commercials for rival streaming services. 

There is no definitive launch date yet for this cheaper version of Disney+, but it is expected to arrive sometime in late 2022. Per Variety, while recently speaking with investors, Disney CEO Bob Chapek stated of the new direction, "We can see the additive nature of an ad-driven service that enables us to keep the price lower. Of course, that's made up for by the additional revenue that we would get per user on the advertising spending."

Unfortunately, pricing is also not available at this time, though the current price for a Disney+ subscription runs around $7.99 (via Disney+). Considering that Hulu charges $6.99 for its ad-supported version and $12.99 for its ad-free version, it will be interesting to see what price point Disney arrives at.