the streaming wars

The Price of Disney+ Is Going Up in 2021

Photo: Disney+

After spending four hours outlining dozens of big new projects to investors, Disney announced Thursday that it will be raising the price of its Disney+ streaming service. Starting in March, a monthly subscription to the streamer will cost $7.99, up one dollar from its current price tag. That will still be cheaper than most of its major rivals, with Netflix this month climbing to $13.99 monthly and HBO Max coming in at a cool $14.99 per month. You didn’t think Disney wasn’t gonna let you have Ms. Marvel and Lando without asking you to pay a little more, did you?

The price hike isn’t a complete shock, and given the massively ambitious content slate Disney announced today, consumers will be getting a lot more for their money. The company outlined more than 100 projects today, and about 80% of them will debut first on Disney+. (Yes, some movies will still open first in theaters.) What’s more, Disney says its goal is to debut 100 new shows and movies every year going forward, far more than it had during its first year in existence.

Raising prices – less than 18 months after Disney+ launched– is also a sign of how confident Disney is in its potential for subscriber growth, as well as just how far ahead of schedule the streaming platform is in signing up customers. Before launch, Disney had told investors it thought it would have between 60 million and 90 million Disney+ customers by the end of 2024. Today, it announced it had nearly met that goal, saying the service now has just shy of 87 million global customers— four years sooner than it had predicted. While upwards of 30% of that subscriber base comes from markets where Disney is offering Disney+ super cheap (around $2 per month), it is nonetheless a significant achievement. And despite the price increase, Disney believes it will still be able to substantially grow its streaming subscriber base over the next few years. It is now forecasting it will have at least 230 million global subscribers —and up to 260 million— by 2024. Your move, Netflix.

The Price of Disney+ Is Going Up in 2021