Disney+ is following Netflix’s lead and bumping up its monthly subscription cost in the U.S., raising it to $8 per month. The company announced the $1 price hike at its investor’s day presentation on Thursday after showing off a slew of new content headed to the streaming service.
U.S. subscribers can expect their monthly fee to jump from $7 to $8 starting on March 26, 2021. Disney’s package deal with Disney+, ad-supported Hulu, and ESPN+ will also increase from $13 to $14 a month. It wasn’t immediately clear whether subscribers in other countries can expect future price hikes for either Disney+ or the Disney Bundle. We’ve reached out to Disney for clarification on this, and will update when we hear back.
While it may feel a bit premature for Disney to include a price hike after barely a year on the market, 2020 has been a banner year for most (but not all) streaming services with the pandemic keeping folks at home more than usual, and Disney+ is no exception. Since launching in November 2019, it’s racked up more than 86 million subscribers worldwide. To put that figure into perspective, it took Netflix the better part of a decade to amass that many subscribers after pivoting to streaming.
At Thursday’s presentation, Disney CEO Bob Chapek said the streaming service’s growth this past year eclipsed executives’ goal at launch, which was to reach 60 million to 90 million subscriptions by 2024.
“Disney+ has exceeded our expectations,” he said.
It’s apparent that Disney’s aiming to capitalize on Disney+’s success out the gate, and hoping that the dozens of new upcoming Marvel, Pixar, and Star Wars shows and movies planned for the platform will soften the blow subscribers feel on their wallets. No shade meant by that though. It’s evident the demand is there, and just as evident that if Disney wants to keep its subscribers from meandering off to what feels like the million and one other options for streaming content, its best bet is to invest that revenue right back into offerings that set its service apart.