Disney+ subscribers in the UK are in for a change as prices increase and new subscription plans are introduced.
In a move that's set to impact Disney+ subscribers across the UK, the streaming giant is gearing up to implement a price hike for its existing customers from November 2023.
Currently offering a single subscription plan at £7.99 per month or £79.90 annually, Disney+ is shaking things up. Effective November 1st, subscribers will be presented with two new packages, each tailored to different viewing habits and financial considerations.
First is the "Standard with Ads" plan, priced at a wallet-friendly £4.99 per month. This option introduces advertisements during streaming and does not offer an annual payment choice. So it's cheap, which is nice, but if you hate adverts, it's going to be worth forking out a bit extra every month!
On the other end of the spectrum is the "Premium" package, available at £10.99 per month or £109.90 for the year. As a compromise, the original £7.99 monthly or £79.90 annual plan will be rebranded as the "Standard" plan.
The upcoming changes will automatically migrate existing subscribers to the pricier "Premium" plan unless a different choice is selected.
The new pricing structure allows subscribers the opportunity to make a conscious decision about their plan, helping them align their Disney+ experience with their preferences and financial situation. If your family make lots of use of the service, it's likely you are going to have to go premium, which means you'll be spending an extra £3 per month, or £30 per year, for using the Disney + services to make use of all the best benefits.
To break down the new offerings further:
Disney+ Standard (with Ads) - £4.99 per month: Subscribers can save money while enjoying their favourite Disney content, accompanied by intermittent advertisements.
Disney+ Standard (without Ads) - £7.99 per month (or £79.90 annually): An ad-free experience that ensures uninterrupted streaming of shows and movies. You’ll only be able to have two concurrent streams at any time, so if the service is used by several people at once, you'll need to go premium. You’ll also only get HD quality, which for many people is fine, but if you want the best possible picture, again, Premium is needed.
Disney+ Premium (without Ads) - £10.99 per month (or £109.90 annually): The ultimate Disney+ experience, boasting enhanced video quality up to 4K UHD and HDR, along with Dolby Atmos sound. Plus, the Premium plan supports simultaneous streaming on up to four devices, ideal for family entertainment.
Subscribers who opt to stick with their current plan will be billed at the new "Premium" rate, beginning from their billing cycle on or after December 6th, so if you don't want to pay more, you'll need to have chosen a different option by then.
Aside from the pricing changes, the revamped plans also bring improved video quality and streaming capabilities to the table. The Standard plan permits viewers to enjoy content in up to Full HD 1080p resolution, accompanied by 5.1 and Stereo audio. In contrast, the Premium plan unlocks the full potential of 4K UHD and HDR video quality, combined with the immersive experience of Dolby Atmos sound. Moreover, the number of devices available for streaming simultaneously will increase from two to four with the Premium plan.
The new subscription plans are set to launch in multiple European countries, including the UK, France, Germany, Switzerland, Italy, Spain, Norway, Sweden, and Denmark. This expansion follows a trial period in the United States.
This isn't the first time Disney+ has adjusted its pricing structure. In 2021, the streaming service upped its monthly subscription fee from £5.99 to £7.99, and the annual fee rose from £59.99 to £79.90.
Disney isn't alone; Netflix increased its charges to £15.99 for a premium service earlier this year, and Spotify is more expensive from this month as well.
The value of subscription services to subscribers can still make these upped charges financially viable. Subscription services often offer a cost-effective way to access a wide range of content compared to traditional cable or satellite TV packages. Instead of paying for individual channels or renting movies, you get access to a library of movies, TV shows, and original content for a fixed monthly fee.
The key is to make sure you don't subscribe to more than you need; otherwise, it gets expensive! Maybe pay monthly and swap and change which service you use every few months to get some variety.
I suspect I'll cancel my Disney+ subscription as we don't really use it enough. We have most of the subscription services, although most are included in other packages, such as Amazon and Amazon Prime Video or Paramount being included in the cost of our Sky package, and I'm currently enjoying a free 6-month trial of Apple TV courtesy of my mobile phone provider, and Netflix is £2 cheaper via O2 as well, so I'm not really paying for much for my viewing, but that won't last forever, but it does show that it's worth looking out for free trials of these types of sites to keep costs down!
Pluto TV is free if you do want to watch something different (with adverts), plus Amazon does have Freevee, which offers free tv and movies, again with adverts, and has a really decent selection to choose from!
Please note that all prices mentioned are accurate as of the time of writing and are subject to change by Disney+.