Disney+ follows Netflix on prices and password sharing

Audiences are being asked to cough up more dough to watch hits such as <i>Only Murders in the Building</i>.

Audiences are being asked to cough up more dough to watch hits such as Only Murders in the Building. Photo: Disney+

Disney’s streaming service is taking cues from Netflix, with subscribers to expect price rises and a looming crackdown on password sharing.

Disney+ announced this week American customers will see the cost of subscriptions rise from $US10.99 ($16.80) per month to $US13.99 ($21.38) for the ‘No Ads’ tier.

The cost of the ad-supported tier, which was launched across the US last year, will remain unchanged at $US7.99 ($12.21) per month.

The streaming platform also announced its ad-supported tier will be rolled out in Canada and select markets across Europe from November 1.

The only Disney+ subscription currently option available in Australia costs $13.99 per month.

Although no announcements regarding Australia have been made, it’s reasonable to assume Australia will likewise be getting an ad-supported subscription tier and price hike to the No Ads tiers following the international rollout.

Disney+ seems to be echoing its rival Netflix, which hiked the cost of two subscription tiers to accompany the launch of its ad-supported tier in November.

“The strong momentum of our ad-supported plans in the US demonstrates the importance of providing consumers with choice, flexibility and value,” Disney Entertainment spokesman Joe Earley said.

Disney targets password sharing

Disney+ is further looking to add to its coffers by removing customers’ ability to share accounts across different households.

During an earnings call on Wednesday, Disney CEO Bob Iger said the company is “actively exploring ways to address account sharing”.

He said Disney will begin to update subscriber agreements with additional terms and sharing policies later this year, and will “roll out tactics to drive monetisation” in 2024.

The move is not unexpected given the success the company’s competitor, Netflix, has had since cracking down on password sharing.

In July, Netflix revealed its revenue in each region rose since it put a stop to unpaid password sharing, with 5.9 million new subscribers contributing to an operating profit of $US1.8 billion ($2.6 billion).

Disney+ is likely looking forward to similar results.

Bob Iger, who is on an annual salary of $US27 million ($41 million) wants help getting more cash into Disney. Photo: AP

Mr Iger said the number of people sharing passwords across Disney’s services was “significant”, but the company plans to “get at this issue” in 2024.

“While it is likely you’ll see some impact in calendar 24, it’s possible that the work will not be completed within the calendar year,” he said.

“But we certainly have established this as a real priority, and we actually think that there’s an opportunity here to help us grow our business.”

Mr Iger has previously said Disney+ was “off” in terms of its initial pricing strategy, and will adjust accordingly to pursue “a pricing strategy that makes sense”.

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