Disney Plus arrived on the streaming scene in 2019 with a competitive monthly price of $7. In just under a year and a half, the service garnered a global subscriber base over 100 million strong, via The International Business Times. On Friday, March 26, the $7 era comes to an end with the streamer’s first recorded price increase, as reported by Deadline. From that moment forward, Disney Plus’s new minimum price point will be $8, The International Business Times reports. The rate increase was first made public knowledge during Disney’s Investor Day presentation in December 2020, according to Deadline.
The price hike affects the streaming platform’s big-ticket subscription packages as well. The oft-advertised Disney Plus bundle that includes access to Hulu and ESPN Plus is going from $13 to $14 a month, Deadline reports. Its ad-free iteration is similarly rising in price from $19 to $20, via the official Disney Plus website. Subscribers in search of annual payment plans will have to pay $80 starting on March 26, although the previously established annual subscription priced at $70 will allegedly remain available to the public until that time, according to The International Business Times.
Approximately 30% of all Disney Plus subscribers are located in Southeast Asia, where many gain access to the platform as an add-on to Disney India’s SVOD service Hotstar, according to Deadline. Disney Plus Hotstar reportedly scored big with an expansion into Indonesia and Singapore in 2020, and the streamer has plans to launch in Malaysia, Thailand and the Philippines by the end of 2021, via Indian Television. Although this suggests great things to come with regard to the growth of Disney Plus’s international audience, the reduced rate of Disney Plus in the Hotstar package, which additionally includes content from HBO, has resulted in a noticeably low Average Revenue Per User (ARPU) for the streamer, as reported by Deadline.
Disney Plus, like all streaming services, has anxieties surrounding the phenomenon of churn, or the inevitable cancellation of subscriptions. The streamer allegedly plans to combat churn with a glut of new original content: “The company… said it will ramp up [production] to deliver one hundred new film and series titles each year, or an average of two per week,” via Deadline. In fact, the day of the price increase, Disney Plus will release the first episode of The Mighty Ducks: Game Changers, an all-new series that continues the journeys of many of the characters from the beloved sports film trilogy, according to Slash Film. The second episode of the streamer’s latest hit, the Marvel Cinematic Universe miniseries Falcon and the Winter Soldier, arrives the same day. You can view the latest promo below:
With newly announced television projects based on the animated Monsters Inc. film franchise and Marvel Comics super-heroine Echo in the works, Disney Plus subscribers seemingly have a lot to look forward to, as long as they can keep up with the company’s present and future price rate alterations.