One of the major advantages to Disney+ is that it doesn’t have any commercials interrupting films or series, putting it in line with other streaming services like Amazon Prime and Netflix, which don’t include commercials.   However, there are many other streaming services that do, such as HBO Max, Paramount+, Peacock and Hulu, which offer ad-free versions at a higher cost.

Disney has had some great financial success recently, with Hulu finally going into profit following a more focused approach to selling advertising once Disney restructured Hulu and its network channels such as ABC and FX into one department.

During a recent virtual Q&A with Disney’s CEO Bob Chapek at the Goldman Sachs 30th Annual Communacopia Conference, Bob was asked about Hulu’s advertising plans, and he mentioned introducing advertising into Disney+.


I think what’s driving it is that combination of great content that draws a lot of eyeballs and draws a lot of interest and a lot of viewership. But at the same time, really sophisticated modeling and technology that we have that enables our advertisers to target exactly who they want, when they want and how they want. Now, in terms of this extendibility to our other platforms, I think it’s important to realize the different target audiences of the platforms.

And for example, Disney+ has a lot of kids that watch it, and the taste for us to consider advertising on something like Disney+ would be completely different than it might be on a Hulu. So then again, you take that individual, no one size fits all type approach that we are looking at across the world. And you say where do we have that opportunity? Where do we not have that opportunity? And then how does that change over time as we look at combining things or keeping things separate à la carte? And so all this is malleable. Again, it’s soft clay right now. And we are very pleased with what we are seeing with addressable advertising on Hulu.

And I would say that does that lead us to think big thoughts about what could happen in other markets across the world? Certainly, it does. But for right now, again, really happy with sort of the à la carte mode that we have with this bundling opportunity and keeping things the way they are, but that doesn’t say that in the future, we might not look at different opportunities for an increased level of addressable advertising across our platforms.

Disney’s streaming services are still adapting and changing.  Advertising does bring in additional revenue, and with more streaming services around, offering an alternative tier at a lower price point could be something they introduce at a later date.  For many households, having a cheaper alternative might mean they remain subscribed, which brings in less money directly through subscriptions, but advertising rates would offset that loss.

 

Much like with other streaming services, there are ad-supported and ad-free options available. It’s just that it costs more for subscribers not to be bothered by commercials.


There are many issues with introducing advertising into Disney+.  A major issue is local restrictions. For example, in the United Kingdom, there are strict rules about advertising junk food before a certain time of the day or for responsible gambling.   As Bob mentioned, Disney+ has lots of children viewers, making this a very sensitive subject. Another issue is that advertising is more localised, there isn’t much point in promoting a product in a country where it isn’t for sale.

Could advertising be added to Disney+ in the future?  While currently, Disney+ is ad-free, Disney’s own CEO is very open about potentially changing things.  That doesn’t mean to say it might happen or any time soon, but the option seems on the table.

Would you like Disney+ to have a lower-priced tier with advertising?


 

 








Roger Palmer

Roger has been a Disney fan since he was a kid and this interest has grown over the years. He has visited Disney Parks around the globe and has a vast collection of Disney movies and collectibles. He is the owner of What's On Disney Plus & DisKingdom. Email: Roger@WhatsOnDisneyPlus.com Twitter: Twitter.com/RogPalmerUK Facebook: Facebook.com/rogpalmeruk

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8 Comments

  1. Steve September 22, 2021

    A LOWER PRICE TIER WOULD BE GOOD ,ITS NICE TO HAVE OPTION WITH OR WITHOUT ADS.

  2. ItsMe September 22, 2021

    Don't ruin the service with ads! That's my opinion

  3. ScionStorm September 22, 2021

    Alternate idea: add a music stream service to Disney+. Disney owns Walt Disney Records and Hollywood Records. And they just shut down Radio Disney. So rebirth it into Disney+ with dedicated stations and options for people to create their own playlists or find music videos and musical clips from their film library.

  4. Alex September 22, 2021

    I think the comment is clear that they are not considering it. If anything he's asserting that Hulu will be here long term and Disney+ is a different model. I agree with him.

  5. Andrew September 22, 2021

    It’s Bob Chapek, there isn’t going to be a lower priced tier that includes ads. He’s going to keep the price where it is for ad supported content and then double the price for the ad free version. Look at the recent price changes he’s made at the ticket booths at the theme parks if you need proof.

  6. lucariofan07 September 23, 2021

    i just got a shiny oddish in pokemon go

  7. Patricia September 24, 2021

    I stream because there is no commercials, I would be just fast forwarding them or walking away and most likely missing content due to walking away. This would bring me back to the stores and Amazon to purchase what I like and watch it ad free on DVD or Blu Ray. Having ads in the shows and or the movies will cut the viewers as many like the ad free movies and shows. To have an ad before or after the show and or movie makes some sense I guess but during will turn a lot of viewers off the site. I stream on 5 separate sites and am happy to pay for the ad free version of them, if this site goes to ads, I'm content to just keep buying the movies and shows and watching them on my DVD or Blu Ray device and go to paying for 4 streaming services.

  8. Simone October 1, 2021

    I would immediately delete my account if they’re really going to be this greedy and add ads for more money. Absolutely ridiculous. Charging for fast pass and potentially this?? When’s it enough??