Disney+ will be introducing an ad-supported subscription tier later this year, Disney announced on Friday. The company didn’t provide a launch date or pricing, but says it will release specific details about the new offering later this year. The new tier will roll out in the United States in late 2022, with plans to expand internationally next year. The streaming service’s current ad-free plan costs $7.99 per month or $79.99 per year.
Adding a cheaper ad-supported tier for the streaming service will likely help the company further expand its subscriber base. In a press release, Disney said the new tier will be a “building block” in its path to achieve its long-term target of 230-260 million Disney+ subscribers by 2024.
“Expanding access to Disney+ to a broader audience at a lower price point is a win for everyone – consumers, advertisers, and our storytellers,” said Kareem Daniel, the chairman of Disney Media and Entertainment Distribution, in a statement. “More consumers will be able to access our amazing content. Advertisers will be able to reach a wider audience, and our storytellers will be able to share their incredible work with more fans and families.”
Following the launch, the streaming service will join several other streaming services that offer ad-supported tiers, including HBO Max, Paramount+ and Discovery+. Hulu, which Disney owns and operates, also offers an ad-supported tier for $6.99 per month.
Today’s announcement comes as Disney recently revealed that Disney+ is launching in 42 additional countries and 11 territories in Europe, the Middle East and Africa this summer. Notable new countries include South Africa, Turkey, Poland and the United Arab Emirates. The streaming service is currently available in 64 countries, including the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom. Disney hasn’t specified the exact dates that the service will launch in these new countries and hasn’t shared information regarding regional pricing, but will likely do so in the coming months.
The full list of new countries includes Albania, Algeria, Bahrain, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Egypt, Estonia, Greece, Hungary, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kosovo, Kuwait, Latvia, Lebanon, Libya, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Malta, Montenegro, Morocco, North Macedonia, Oman, Palestine, Poland, Qatar, Romania, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, Tunisia, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, Vatican City and Yemen.
In terms of the new territories, the list includes Faroe Islands, French Polynesia, French Southern Territories, St. Pierre and Miquelon Overseas Collective, Åland Islands, Sint Maarten, Svalbard & Jan Mayen, British Indian Ocean Territory, Gibraltar, Pitcairn Islands and St. Helena.
News of the expansion came as Disney had recently revealed that it plans to more than double the number of countries Disney+ is available in to more than 160 by its fiscal 2023. The company plans on expanding its direct-to-consumer streaming business to more global markets and is creating a new International Content and Operations group to aid in this push.