Your Disney+ is about to get a lot more expensive
When it comes to streaming services, let's be honest, Disney+ rules supreme. While Netflix paved the way with the likes of Orange Is the New Black and Stranger Things, it's largely been eclipsed by corporate greed and Disney's impressive back catalogue.
As well as boasting the pre-existing might of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Star Wars, and more, Disney+ has been churning out original bangers like WandaVision and Andor. Where else can you watch Jeff Goldblum buy trainers, Kevin Bacon pop up in a Christmas special, and then binge the entirety of Grey's Anatomy?
Disney+ could be getting a price hike
You might remember when Disney was struck with a price increase in the USA last December, with the ad-free tier climbing from a reasonable $8 to $11. Now, it looks like there could be a second jump in less than a year. We know the VFX on Grogu are expensive, but come on.
According to The Motley Fool, Disney CEO Bob Iger spoke about a restructure of the Disney+ pricing model. "The pricing changes we've already implemented have proven successful," said Iger. "And we plan to set a higher price for our ad-free tier later this year to better reflect the value of our content offerings."
The good news is that the lower tier that includes ads might stay the same. Iger added, "There's going to be a substantial growth in digital advertising in this upfront." Still, with up to four minutes every hour being dedicated to ads, it's not exactly hard to spot them.
Across the board, there are some pretty major changes, with Iger previously discussing the idea of Hulu shows coming to Disney+. Netflix is known for regularly pulling content as part of a rotating roster, and according to Disney CFO Christine McCarthy, Disney+ could also focus on quality instead of quantity.
Disney ads are coming to Europe
If you're in Europe and thought you'd escaped Iger's money-grabbing ways, Disney+ has plans to release its own ad-tier options "by the end of this calendar year." Assuming it follows in the footsteps of the USA, you'll be paying the same as you are now...with ads as an added drawback.
It's all in a push to get you to stump up for the pricier ad-free tier, amidst a seeming Disney mantra of "Economic crisis, what economic crisis?" We'll have to see how well this goes down, as remember, Netflix haemorrhaged $54 billion in 24 hours when it tried to clamp down on password sharing.
Iger is right to be crunching the numbers right now. Disney+ has reportedly lost four million subscribers in the first quarter of 2023, with a mass exodus in India and 300,000 US and Canadian customers jumping ship when prices rose. Yes, we love rewatching Lost and Buffy the Vampire Slayer, but not that much.