Disney said it will introduce ad-supported version of Disney+ streaming service

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A man looks at his phone as he passes by a screen advertising Walt Disney's streaming service Disney+ in New York
A man looks at his phone as he passes by a screen advertising Walt Disney’s streaming service Disney+ in New York City, U.S., November 12, 2019. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid/File Photo

March 4, 2022

(Reuters) -The Walt Disney Co Friday said it will offer a cheaper, ad-supported version of its Disney+ streaming service later this year as it seeks to reach its goal of profitability by 2024.

Disney joins a growing number of media companies, including AT&T’s WarnerMedia, Comcast, Discovery and Paramount Global, in offering ad supported tiers of their streaming services to capture price-sensitive customers.

“Expanding access to Disney+ to a broader audience at a lower price point is a win for everyone – consumers, advertisers, and our storytellers,” Kareem Daniel, chairman of Disney Media and Entertainment Distribution, said in a statement.

Pricing was not disclosed.

Ad-supported services borrow from a model that has sustained television for decades, with commercials subsidizing the cost of programming.

“There’s a load of people that will never pay for television,” said Discovery CEO David Zaslav in a recent Discovery investor call, “But they can go to and view this content and that’ll be advertiser supported.”

Disney already offers ad-supported versions of its Hulu and ESPN+ streaming services.

(Reporting by Dawn Chmielewski; Editing by Kirsten Donovan)

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