Disney+ is unveiling a new chapter in its service offering in the UK with the launch of three new subscription plans.
From November 1, 2023subscribers enjoy a wide range of options while offering an ad-supported tier.
Not only does this new tier offer a budget-friendly option, but it also heralds a shift in Disney+’s pricing strategy. However, it also means that some subscribers will have to start paying more.
This comprehensive guide delves into the heart of these changes, highlighting the new pricing tiers, exactly how the ad-supported plan will work, and what it all means for both new and existing subscribers.
Disney+ (see our review) It launched in the UK in 2020, and can now be streamed on most devices Streaming devices And smart TVs. In the UK, Disney+ includes content from the Disney, Marvel, Pixar, Star Wars, National Geographic and Star universes.
It’s worth noting that Star, Disney’s general entertainment category for more mature audiences, is not present in the US version of Disney+.
This means that UK subscribers get more content than their US counterparts (who currently get most of the “mature” content on the streaming service Hulu, which carries an additional subscription cost).
New Disney+ UK plans
Until now, Disney+ has offered a one-size-fits-all subscription plan at £7.99 per month or £79.90 per year (when Disney+ launched in the UK, in 2020, it cost just £5.99 per month or £59.99 per year).
The individual plan provided subscribers with 4K video quality, the ability to stream on four devices simultaneously, and access to downloads for offline viewing. Oh, and there were no ads.
The revamped pricing structure diversifies the offerings into three distinct tiers, providing more options to suit different viewing preferences and budgets.
The new classes are as follows:
Standard with ads: at a price £4.99 per monthThis plan offers Full HD 1080p video quality, two simultaneous streams, 5.1 and stereo audio but will not support downloads.
standard:L £7.99 per month Or £79.90 per year, subscribers get Full HD 1080p video, two simultaneous streams, 5.1 and stereo audio, plus the added bonus of downloads.
beloved: in £10.99 per month Or £109.90 per year, this tier offers up to 4K UHD video quality, HDR, four simultaneous streams, Dolby Atmos audio and downloadability.
|Standard with ads||standard||beloved|
|Exclusive originals and library content||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓|
|Video quality||Up to Full HD 1080p resolution||Up to Full HD 1080p resolution||Up to 4K UHD and HDR|
|Downloads||✗||Download on up to 10 devices||Download on up to 10 devices|
|My voice||5.1 and stereo||5.1 and stereo||Up to Dolby Atmos|
This means that people who found £7.99 a month too expensive can now use the £4.99 a month plan – if they’re willing to watch the ads.
However, it also means that people who want the same thing they’ve been getting so far – 4K and 4 simultaneous streams – will have to pay a lot more at £10.99 per month.
Explanation of the ad-supported plan
The Standard plan with ads will include up to 4 minutes of ads per hour (much less than we usually get on broadcast channels like ITV and Channel 4).
Furthermore, in movies, ads will only appear before the movie starts, and there won’t be any breaks during the movie itself.
During commercial breaks, a timer will appear in the corner of the screen – counting down to the end of the full commercial break.
As for kids content, Disney+ will replace its “Kids” profile with a new “Junior Mode,” which is intended for kids and will only include manually curated content.
In Beginner Mode, there will be no ads at all.
Additionally, Disney+ will show different ads depending on the age rating of the content you’re watching (so if families watch content together — even on the “Mature” profile — the ads will still be appropriate for younger audiences).
Therefore, content marked as suitable for ages 0+, 6+ and 9+ will only show restricted ads (presumably fewer of them – and will not contain content that is not suitable for younger children).
Content intended for ages 12+ and 14+ will include most ads.
Content marked as 16+/18+ will include all ads.
Want to skip ads? You can not
The introduction of the ad-supported tier comes with specific advertising policies explained in the Disney+ update.”Terms of Service“.
Subscribers to this plan are required to allow ads to be displayed across their devices. The use of ad blockers or any mechanisms to prevent the delivery of ads is prohibited.
If Disney+ believes a subscriber is using an ad blocker, it reserves the right to suspend or terminate the subscription, or migrate the subscriber to a similar ad-free plan, and charge them the corresponding rate.
On the other hand, “No Ads” plans, while free of commercial interruptions, may still feature limited promotional content. This can include information about other content on Disney+, other Disney services, product placements, or sponsorship messages.
Impact on existing Disney+ subscribers
Existing subscribers, who were initially on the plan costing £7.99 per month, will see their plan renamed to ‘Disney+ Premium’.
Initially, they will continue to pay the same price they were paying (£7.99/million).
However, from December 6 onwardsits price will also rise to £10.99 per month (the regular ‘Premium’ tier price).
This price change represents a significant increase of 37.5%. Annual subscribers will also see prices rise from £79.90 per year to £109.90 per year – on their next annual billing date (any time after 6 December).
Subscribers have the option to keep their current “Premium” benefits by accepting the new pricing – or they can, of course, switch to one of the new “Standard” or “Standard with Ads” plans.
However, each option comes with its own set of trade-offs, whether that’s serving ads, lower video resolution, or losing the ability to download.
Disney+’s password-sharing campaign is here too
There is an additional factor to consider Disney+ updated stance on sharing passwordswhich we talked about previously.
Although not directly related to pricing, the crackdown on password sharing could indirectly impact pricing for individuals who have shared the cost of subscriptions thus far.
On the other hand – the fact that you are no longer able to share the account with people outside your household, may mean that you no longer need 4 simultaneous streams, so the “Standard” plan may be enough for you.