Disney+’s upcoming ad-supported service ‘will show very few commercials’

Watching Disney+ on a MacBook Pro

Later this year, the streaming service Disney+ is set to launch an ad-supported subscription plan, designed to enable users to access its content – which includes the likes of Marvel movies and kids’ programming – at a cheaper price point.

Now, it has been reported by Variety, The Wall Street Journal and other outlets, that ads on the service will only run for an average of four minutes on movies or shows that last an hour or less.

As Variety noted, this plan would equate to Disney+ running fewer ads on an hourly basis than some of its streaming-service rivals. NBC’s Peacock, for instance, has a policy of no more than five minutes of ads for every hour of content, while for HBO Max, it is four minutes. Even Hulu – which is majority-owned by Disney itself – runs nine to 12 ads in one hour.

By comparison, it will hardly surprise many observers that Disney+ apparently won’t accept ads with adult themes, such as anything related to alcohol or politics. Variety cited “two media buyers with knowledge of recent discussions between the company and advertising agencies” as being behind this claim.

It is interesting, however, to read that Disney will also not be allowing its entertainment competitors to advertise on the platform. Furthermore, Variety reported that the service will not run any ads at all when an individual user profile in control of the viewing experience indicates that a young child is watching.

The company announced earlier this month that Disney+ had attracted 7.9 million new subscribers during the first three months of 2022. That means it now enjoys some 44 million subscribers in the United States and Canada alone, and 87.6 million internationally.

This is on a backdrop of Netflix having shed subscribers recently, although it still has a subscriber base amounting to 74.58 million in the US and Canada. It hasn’t been a great shock, then, to hear that Netflix could be introducing its own ad-supported plan at some point in 2022.

We don’t yet know what pricing the new Disney+ ad-supported tier will have; the current ad-free Disney+ is available to subscribers for $7.99 a month.

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