Disney+ Will Likely Not Get an Ad-Supported Tier or Combine Disney+, Hulu & ESPN+ Any Time Soon





With HBO launching its ad-supported tier earlier this month, some Disney+ subscribers have been asking if the streamer would be the next to introduce a less expensive tier with ads. Disney CEO Bob Chapek says we shouldn’t expect it any time soon.

Chapek addressed the ad-supported model during a Q&A session with Credit Suisse Monday. When asked about bringing ads to Disney+, he said “We’re always reevaluating how we go-to-market across the world, but we’ve got no such plans now to do that. We’re happy with the models that we’ve got.”

Disney+ surpassed 100 million global subscribers in March. At that time, the company shared its plans to invest more in developing content, with Chapek commenting that “Our direct-to-consumer business is the Company’s top priority, and our robust pipeline of content will continue to fuel its growth.”

Reiterating that focus at this week’s investor event, Chapek discussed how investing in quality content has resulted in some big wins for Disney+. “I think what we’re seeing is that, is increasing demand is really empowering our creatives to think outside the box from maybe more limited slate and try new different things,” Chapek said, pointing to Marvel specifically. The team got creative with turning Marvel stories into limited series, which has been paying off with the success of WandaVision, The Falcon and The Winter Soldier, and Loki.

When asked about combining Disney+, ESPN+, and Hulu into one service or breaking out each of the brands included in Disney+ (National Geographic, Marvel, Star Wars, Pixar, and Disney) as their own separate services, Chapek again said we shouldn’t expect any big changes to the current set up any time soon.

“I think our more aggregated model right now is serving us well, and I also believe it’s serving our guests well,” he said, noting the increased costs that would come with marketing so many individual services. However, Chapek says that the company is open to change when and if it makes sense to both the business and the consumer, saying “we won’t say no to anything in the future, but right now we’re really happy with our more highly aggregated model that we have, both from a cost standpoint and from a market opportunity standpoint. But again, who knows it could evolve over time as we learn more and more in different regions across the world.”

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