Disney+ has already garnered over 100 Million subscribers, but Disney needs to eventually raise subscription prices so they can fund their next round of originals. As Rick Riordan said in one of his blog posts, “Good TV ain’t cheap”, the question becomes, How does Disney gain more subscribers without upping prices too high? My answer is for them to create a cheaper ad-supported tier. Let me explain why. Please Note: as of Tuesday the 15th June 2021 there are zero plans to add an ad-supported tier to Disney+, at least not yet.
Giving Subscribers Choice:
The first point would be to give subscribers a choice, say Disney+ subscriptions reach as much as $10 per month, why not release a cheaper tier around $5, which has ad breaks? You know similar to how Hulu operates in the US, especially considering almost all of Disney+’s big US competitors, including HBO Max, Peacock and Paramount+, offer cheaper ad-supported tiers as well as Disney+’s sister service Hulu offering a cheaper ad-supported tier.
If Disney decided to offer a cheaper ad-supported tier, it could help get lower-income families on board of the service who might not be able to afford an increased price and an increase of subscription offerings.
More Revenue = More Original Content:
Disney+ is already a juggernaut in the realm of streaming, but Disney+ isn’t profitable yet, and funding the high profile shows like The Mandalorian, Wandavision and Falcon and The Winter Soldier is very expensive. With Disney+ having about a dozen MCU series, ten Star Wars series and other supposed big-budget series like Percy Jackson and National Treasure. Disney needs Disney+ to be profitable to warrant the constant spending on their high profile premium original series and movies, so putting ads in between the episodes could help them make the service profitable sooner.
With a lot of Disney+ originals in development, Disney could use the ad revenue as an indicator for what shows sit the best with advertisers and which shows get the most rewatches and brings in the most ad revenue, which could lead to Disney funding more seasons of those shows as well as spinoffs.
Better Promotion For New Disney Shows and Movies:
This would be another great reason for Disney to offer an ad-supported tier. Disney could use DIsney+ as a place to showcase trailers for new Disney theatrical movies, the theme parks, Disney merchandise and Disney+ originals. For example, you could watch Frozen or another piece of content in that franchise and before showing, they show you an ad for Frozen 3 or something along those lines.
So How Should They Do It?
The way I would have Disney implement this idea would be similar to how some cable channels do it. Take Diary Of A Future President they could have one thirty second to a minute-long ad at the start of the episode, and one thirty second to a minute-long ad at the end of the episode. With longer shows like The Mandalorian, Big Shot or Falcon and The Winter Soldier, they could have a similar placement of one at the start and one at the end but could place one or two ads in the middle of the episodes.
With movies depending on the length, it could be anywhere between five and seven ads, and with shorts (twenty minutes or under), I could see them doing one ad at the start or one at the end. Disney would also hopefully not cut out features like 4K and HDR and lock them behind the more expensive tier. They would hopefully not lock any titles behind the higher tier.
That’s just my thoughts though. I believe Disney+ adding a cheaper ad-supported tier would be a great thing and could offer more choice for subscribers and could lead to more shows getting funded and released as originals. But what do you think? Do you think Disney+ should offer a cheaper ad-supported tier?
You can find me on Twitter at realENHolloway.