Disney+ to hike prices as it adds new plans: What you need to know
Disney+ has confirmed prices will rise by up to £36 this winter as it is set to introduce two further subscription tiers and hints of a Netflix-style password clampdown.
Disney+ subscribers currently pay £7.99 a month (£79.90 upfront for the year) for the standard ad-free subscription.
But from 1 November, it will add two new subscription tiers – one which is cheaper and the other more expensive – with existing customers automatically moved on to the pricier plan from their next billing cycle in December.
This means you’ll pay £10.99 a month (£3 extra a month) if you don’t take any action before then.
The last time Disney+ hiked prices was in 2021 when the plan cost rose from £5.99 to £7.99 a month.
Here’s what you need to know about the latest Disney+ price and plan shake-up…
Ads or ad-free plan choice
From 1 November, subscribers will have a choice of three plans offered by the streaming service, rather than the current single plan available:
1) Standard with ads
As its name suggests, this plan includes adverts, and it costs £4.99 a month – there’s no option to pay a cheaper upfront cost. It includes exclusive originals and library content with up to full HD 1080p video quality.
It allows for two concurrent streams and offers 5.1 and stereo audio, but no downloads feature.
Here, subscribers will pay £7.99 a month (£79.90 upfront for the year) with no adverts interfering the stream. It includes exclusive originals and library content with up to full HD 1080p video quality. It can be streamed on two devices, allows downloads and offers 5.1 and stereo audio.
There are no ads here but it costs £10.99 a month (£109.90 upfront for the year). The plan includes exclusive originals and library content with up to 4K UHD & HDR and allows four devices. Downloads are available and there is Dolby Atmos audio.
Existing Disney+ subscribers
Existing customers will remain in the current subscription (standard), which will be renamed Disney+ Premium and will therefore be billed at the more expensive price point.
For those who choose not to switch, you’ll be billed the new £10.99 price starting from your next billing cycle on or after 6 December.
But you will have the option to switch to the Standard Plan or Standard with Ads Plan before then.
Jan Koeppen, president of The Walt Disney Company EMEA, said: “The introduction of the ad-supported plan marks the next evolution for Disney+ in Europe, as we provide greater choice for our customers and our world-class advertising partners alike. Disney+ continues to set itself apart in today’s streaming landscape, offering unrivalled value, genre-defining TV series and blockbuster movies set within a simple and seamless experience.”
Disney+ is also reportedly looking to crack down on password sharing in 2024, in a move similar to that by Netflix recently. Last month, Netflix scrapped its basic plan as it bought in a cheaper ad-supported plan for £4.99 a month.
Jeff Richey, TV analyst at WatchTVAbroad.com, said: “A seismic shift is rippling through the streaming landscape, with yet another major platform announcing plans to crack down on password sharing.
“For users sharing an account, this may feel like another kick in the teeth as they will be booted off yet another platform and forced to pay for their own subscription.”
Below Uswitch lists the streaming alternatives:
Netflix costs £6.99 a month for its Basic Package, and its Standard Package is £10.99 a month while its Premium Package is £15.99 a month. Each subscription package will have different allowances in terms of the number of screens you can watch at the same time and the ability to stream in HD and Ultra HD.
As above, there will be two new subscription tiers – a more basic, ad-supported subscription costing £4.99 per month, and a more expensive Premium tier for £10.99.
Those on an existing Disney+ subscription will be moved onto the more expensive Disney+ Premium, which lets you continue watching content in 4K. But you’ll get the option to move onto the cheaper Standard (£7.99) or Basic (£4.99) subscription should you want a cheaper package.
Amazon Prime Video
Amazon Prime membership costs £8.99 a month and comes with all the Amazon Prime perks, including free next-day delivery and access to Amazon Prime Video. Alternatively, you can get it for the equivalent of £7.92 per month if you pay for the year upfront, or £4.49 if you’re a student.
You can get access to just Prime Video for £5.99, but the real value of Amazon comes from a full Prime membership so it’s worth taking advantage of the 30-day trial.
Apple TV Plus is £6.99 but comes with a free one-year subscription when you purchase any new Apple product including MacBooks, iPads and iPhones.
NOW has several different price points: an Entertainment TV membership costs £9.99 a month (£6.99 if you sign up for six months).
NOW Cinema also costs £9.99, and a Sports membership costs £34.99 a month (£26 if you sign up for 12 months), or a one-off payment of £11.98 for a Sports Day + Mobile Month Membership.
The cheapest monthly tariff for Sky Stream is currently £26 per month for Sky Entertainment & Netflix (£29 per month on a monthly rolling contract). Sky add-ons like Sky Cinema and Sky Sports will, as usual, incur extra monthly costs too.