Disney+ Rolls Out Cost-Friendly Ad-Supported Subscription

Disney+ in the UK now offers a cheaper subscription for £4.99 a month, where customers watch ads during shows and movies.

Adverts in Streaming Services

Following in the steps of Netflix, Disney+ has rolled out its cheaper streaming service, supporting its platform with advertisements. This move comes at a time when more people are looking for budget-friendly entertainment options due to the high cost of living. Disney+’s approach allows subscribers to view the duration of ads, which are placed at the beginning of movies and within TV show episodes.


Limits and Benefits of the New Tier


The ad-supported tier restricts users to two simultaneous streams per subscription and excludes the ability to download content for offline viewing. Disney+ has kept the video and audio quality consistent with the more expensive, ad-free standard package which is priced at £7.99 monthly or £79.90 annually. This standard package allows downloads on up to 10 devices.

Luke Bradley Jones, the General Manager of Disney+ EMEA, shared his thoughts on the new offering: “Today’s launch represents a significant milestone for Disney+ in the UK, offering customers the flexibility to select a plan that suits their needs and budget.”


Comparison with Netflix


The ad-supported tier of Disney+ is directly competitive with Netflix’s equivalent tier, priced identically at £4.99 in the UK. Both services provide 1080p streaming quality without the ability to download. However, Disney+ offers access to its full library without restrictions, unlike Netflix, which has certain titles locked due to licensing constraints.


Ad Content and Placement


Disney+ has stated that their ad-supported plan will feature an average of four minutes of ads per hour. Disney’s plan ensures that movies will only have ads before they start and will not be interrupted once they begin. For TV shows, the service will indicate where ad breaks will occur on the timeline.


Advertising in Junior Mode


Disney+ has confirmed that their Junior Mode will be ad-free, protecting younger viewers from exposure to advertisements. The service has tailored its advertising to suit different age groups, with more mature-themed ads appearing alongside content for older viewers.


The Premium Experience


The ‘Premium’ tier is the top-level offering from Disney+, priced at £10.99 per month. This tier boasts 4K HDR video quality, Dolby Atmos sound, and allows for four concurrent streams. Disney’s decision to limit higher-end features to the Premium tier reflects a strategic choice to cater to viewers who seek the best viewing experience and are willing to pay more for it.

Deborah Armstrong, the UK and Ireland Country Manager for GM Media Networks and Advertising EMEA, stated, “Disney+ offers advertisers a prime opportunity to join our premium streaming platform, featuring our beloved brands and an exceptional line-up of movies and TV series.”


Disney+ Expands in Europe


The new, more wallet-friendly subscription plan is not limited to the UK. Disney+ has made this tier available in several European countries, as well as Canada, with competitive pricing set to attract a wider audience.


Rival Services and the Market


The introduction of ad-supported plans is not a unique strategy, as seen with Netflix’s similar plan last year. Amazon is also set to release an ad-supported version of Prime Video, indicating a trend in the industry towards such models as streaming services strive to maintain competitiveness.

Disney+’s latest subscription tier offers a cost-effective way for audiences in the UK and beyond to enjoy a vast array of entertainment content, including the latest series and popular shows. With various options now available, consumers can choose the Disney+ experience that fits their preferences and budget.