Disney Plus' Streaming Service With Ads is Still a Good Deal

While Disney is raising the prices of its ad-free streaming services, Disney Plus with ads is staying at the same price.

 A display of Grogu from Star Wars: The Mandalorian is seen during 2022 Comic-Con International Day 4 at San Diego Convention Center on July 24, 2022 in San Diego, California.
(Image credit: Getty Images)

The Walt Disney Co. is increasing prices for its Disney Plus tiered bundles, but members can still find a deal with its ad-supported service.

Disney announced this week there will be a Disney Plus price hike for its bundles without ads, but kept prices for its basic plan with ads unchanged, at $7.99 a month, an option that builds advertisements into the viewer experience. Disney Plus without ads will cost $13.99 a month or $139.99 a year starting Oct. 12.

Other streaming services, including Peacock and Paramount Plus, also have streaming options that come at a discount if you opt for ads. And just like Peacock and Paramount Plus, you'll have to sit through a handful of commercials — roughly a minute or minute-and-a-half. There’s no fast-forwarding in these ad-supported streaming services.

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Disney Plus bundle options with ads:

  • Disney Bundle Duo Basic: Disney Plus (with ads), Hulu (with ads), $9.99/month 
  • Disney Bundle Trio Basic: Disney Plus (with ads), Hulu (with ads), ESPN Plus (with ads), $14.99/month 
  • Trio Basic: Hulu (with ads), plus access to Disney+ (with ads) and ESPN+ (with ads), 14.99/month 
  • Trio Premium, Disney+ (no ads), Hulu (no adds) and ESPN+ (with adds), $24.99/month 

The streaming options with ads was launched in December 2022.

“With these new ad-supported offerings, we’re able to deliver greater flexibility for consumers to enjoy the full breadth and depth of incredible storytelling from The Walt Disney Company,” Michael Paull, president of Direct to Consumer at Disney, said at the time.

Disney Plus Basic and other ad-supported bundle subscribers will have access to the same movies, series, documentaries and more under the Disney flag, including Disney classics and current films, as well as the Marvel and Star Wars universes. That includes the award-winning Abbot Elementary, made-for-Disney Plus Star Wars series The Mandalorian (think Baby Yoda/Grogu) and Andor, and originals like The Old Man and Only Murders in the Building.

Disney’s move came at a time when it was seeing a stock slump and disappointing earnings and a shakeup at the top. This could be an elixir, some analysts said in December.

“Disney Plus' ad-supported tier is going to be a game changer for its subscriber and revenue growth, and considering Disney's slumping average-revenue-per-user growth and increasing DTC operating losses, its launch can't come soon enough," wrote Third Bridge analyst Jamie Lumley. "Disney is in a better position than Netflix from an operational perspective because they already have a lot of advertisement technology and infrastructure in place through Hulu and ABC network channels."

Other streamers have also been making important moves to build customer bases and seek revenue. As we reported last December, HBO Max returned to Amazon Prime Video’s third-party streaming channels. Last summer, Warner Bros. Discovery slashed subscription prices on HBO Max.

Bob Niedt

Bob was Senior Editor at Kiplinger.com for seven years and is now a contributor to the website. He has more than 40 years of experience in online, print and visual journalism. Bob has worked as an award-winning writer and editor in the Washington, D.C., market as well as at news organizations in New York, Michigan and California. Bob joined Kiplinger in 2016, bringing a wealth of expertise covering retail, entertainment, and money-saving trends and topics. He was one of the first journalists at a daily news organization to aggressively cover retail as a specialty and has been lauded in the retail industry for his expertise. Bob has also been an adjunct and associate professor of print, online and visual journalism at Syracuse University and Ithaca College. He has a master’s degree from Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications and a bachelor’s degree in communications and theater from Hope College.