Your Disney+ subscription is about to go up – but there’s a way to save cash

Password sharing is next on the chopping block

Phil de Semlyen
Written by
Phil de Semlyen
Global film editor
Photo: Marvel Studios

All is not exactly optimal at Disney at the moment. The actors’ and writers’ strikes have ground production to a halt, CEO Bob Iger is in the spotlight, and movies and series are disappearing wholesale from its streaming platform in a cost-cutting measure. In Australia, the studio is no longer selling DVDs and Blu-rays. Even Scrooge McDuck will be downsizing soon. 

The latest move to shore things up involves expanding its new ad-supported Disney+ subscriptions internationally, as well as clamping down on password sharing – a strategy that Netflix has already implemented. But what does it mean for us humble subscribers? Here’s the lowdown. 

What’s going on with the Disney Plus price increase? 

On November 1, Disney+ will be introducing ad-supported subscriptions outside the US. It’ll be called ‘Standard With Ads’ and cost £4.99/€5.99 month in Europe and $7.99 in Canada – a cheaper Disney+ subscription for those happy to sit through a few ads. Downloads won’t be available on that subscription. 

A new HD ‘standard’ tier is also being added at £7.99/month, as well as a new ‘premium’ subscription which will offer 4K HDR streaming with Dolby Atmos sound and cost £10.99/month. You can also stream on more devices with the pricier package: four instead of the usual two. 

Disney+ subscriptions went up from £5.99 to £7.99 in 2021, so this isn’t the first price hike on the streaming platform, but this one offers more options to those looking to keep the price down and still keep up with the latest Marvel and Pixar offerings.

The price increases and changes impact subscribers in America, too. A new ad-supported Disney+ and Hulu joint package is going online on September 6 for $9.99/month. On October 12, Disney+ Premium will increase from $10.99 to $13/month and Hulu will go up from $14.99 to $17.99/ month.

Why is Disney Plus adding commercials?

In short? Greater choice – and more money. An ad-supported option is something Netflix brought in last year and, says Disney Entertainment’s Joe Earley, it’s designed to give subscribers more ‘choice, flexibility and value’ – and a cheaper alternative to access the platform. The deal is: you get a cheaper subscription fee in exchange for sitting through a few commercials for every hour of content.

If you already have a subscription, it’ll stay in place until December 6. Then it will automatically turn into a premium subscription at £10.99/month (or £109.90/year). You’ll have the option to switch to a standard or ‘standard with ads’ package then.

What will happen to password sharing?

Nothing immediately, but expect a Netflix-style crackdown next year. ‘We are actively exploring ways to address account sharing and the best options for paying subscribers to share their accounts with friends and family,’ CEO Bob Iger said recently.

In other words, the days of sharing your Disney+ account with your mate Helen and putting up with her weird choice of avatar are slowly and sadly coming to an end.

9 great streaming services that won’t cost you a penny.

The 54 Best Movies On Disney Plus To Watch Right Now.

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