Streaming giant Disney+ has announced plans to roll out its ad-supported subscription in model in certain markets in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) later this year.
The company announced a staggering loss of 12.5 million in Disney+ paid subscribers in Q3 2023 yesterday – its largest ever loss in membership numbers since April 2020.
The drop in numbers prompted CEO Bob Iger of Walt Disney Co. to announce a new strategic plan across international markets with price hikes and the launch of a new Standard tier subscription plan, as well as Standard with ads in select EMEA markets and Canada. Currently, a Disney+ subscription in the UAE costs AED 29.99 per month. However, according to the company, the new ad-supported plans will start at 24.1 dirhams (€5.99 or $6.58) per month in EMEA and $7.99 per month in Canada.
Existing subscribers in applicable markets will remain in the Premium tier with no ads when their subscription price increases in December, unless they opt to switch into one of the new lower-priced plans. The ad-supported, Standard and Premium plans in select European markets and Canada, available from November 1, will offer access to the Disney+ content library and key product features, including extensive content from Hulu, but it remains to be seen how this may affect the Middle East.
Iger also said that the company will begin to crack down on password sharing, similar to what streaming giant Netflix rolled out this year.
“We’re actively exploring ways to address account sharing and the best options for paying subscribers to share their accounts with friends and family,” Iger said, adding that “we will roll out tactics to drive monetisation sometime in 2024.”
The Q3 results revealed a $512 million loss in Disney’s streaming division.
(Reporting by Bindu Rai, editing by Seban Scaria)