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As Disney+ Adds More Star Wars And Marvel Shows, It Looks Like A Price Increase Is Being Planned

Disney+ has become a massively popular streaming service in a comparatively short period of time. A number of factors contribute to this. The Disney brand name, and the broadly popular content that comes with it, is obviously a huge part of why people want Disney+. Brand new original series from franchises like Marvel and Star Wars have made Disney+ a destination as well, but on top of that there is the fact that Disney+ is a comparatively inexpensive service. Though it seems likely we could see another price increase for Disney+ coming as early as next year.

When Disney+ launched it came in at a very aggressive $6.99 per month, and just about a year ago it saw a price increase to $7.99. During the recent Walt Disney Company earnings call, CEO Bob Chapek was asked if we should be expecting more price increases in the near future. Chapek responded by saying that one of the reasons that Disney+ has been so cheap up to this point is the fact that the service simply doesn’t have enough content to justify a higher price, but that has been changing over time, and will continue to change through this year. Chapek said… 

Pretty much the entirety of the launch of Disney+ have been plagued by covid production interruptions. Plus, in all fairness, our own recognition that we needed to essentially double our production output. You put those two things together and we certainly have less content than we want But as we said over the last few earnings calls that will rectify itself in the second half of this year.

Original content has become the driving force of what streaming services are working to provide and they’re spending a lot of money to make it happen. It was known early on that Disney+ wasn’t going to have a massive amount of that at the beginning, which was part of why the service was so comparatively inexpensive. The hope was that more original series would be on Disney+ by now, but due to delays that hasn’t been able to happen. WandaVision, the first MCU series, launched in early 2021, but it was originally expected in 2020, and that has ultimately pushed everything back. But Bob Chapek says that by the end of this year the service will have caught up to where it wants to be.

Once that happens, it sounds like Disney will feel that Disney+ has become valuable enough, that it will justify a price increase. While Bob Chapek stopped short of saying a price increase would happen in 2023, it certainly sounds like that’s a strong possibility. Chapek continued…

By ’23, we want to get to a steady-state, which is even higher than we have right now. And I think that will give us the impetus to increase that price/value relationship even higher and then have the flexibility, if we were to so choose, to then look at price increases on our service. But it’s all about content, content, content.

 In the end, according to Bob Chapek, it will all come down to the content. It’s always possible that more delays could happen and that Disney+ won’t have the volume of quality and quantity content that it expects to have by 2023, and if that happens, we may see the current price of Disney+ remain for a while longer. However, it seems clear that the company expects to be in a place a year from now where it will be able to justify a price increase, and it seems very likely that once we get there, a price increase will happen. 

Dirk Libbey
Dirk Libbey

CinemaBlend’s resident theme park junkie and amateur Disney historian. Armchair Imagineer. Epcot Stan. Future Club 33 Member.