When Disney Plus’ ad-supported plan goes live later this year, it will reportedly run ads for four minutes on movies or shows that last an hour or less, according to reports from Variety and The Wall Street Journal†
if Variety points out that this would allow Disney to offer fewer ads per hour than some of its competitors. NBC’s Peacock shows no more than five minutes of ads per hour of content, while HBO Max shows four minutes of ads per hour. Disney Plus’s scheduled number of ads even surpasses the Disney-owned Hulu, which shows nine to 12 ads in an hour.
As for the content of the ads themselves, the company is reportedly taking a cautious approach to maintain its family-friendly image. Disney isn’t just getting rid of adult themed ads like anything related to alcohol or politics – Variety reports that it also doesn’t accept ads if they’re from an entertainment competitor.
Disney plans to remove ads from all shows if used by a child profile also. Sources familiar with the situation say: Variety that Disney will remove ads in programs aimed at a toddler audience, even if a user does not have a child profile.
In March, Disney announced that it would launch a cheaper ad-supported option in the US in late 2022, which will be available for other countries later next year. There are no details on how much the cheaper option will cost – Disney Plus currently costs $7.99/month with no ads. Disney says it added 7.9 million new subscribers in the past quarter, growing its subscriber base to about 44 million people in the US and Canada.
While Disney Plus’s subscriber base continues to grow, Netflix’s has dwindled (despite still having 74.58 million subscribers in the US and Canada). The streaming giant lost subscribers for the first time in more than a decade last quarter and has already come up with a few plans to win back users. A note to employees indicates that Netflix could roll out an ad-supported tier sometime this year, and like Disney Plus, it’s also working on a live streaming option. Netflix co-CEO Reed Hastings has talked about cutting back on password sharing to monetize streaming freeloaders (much to users’ dismay), which could come around the same time Netflix is rolling out an ad-supported tier.