Some existing subscribers of Disney+, the streaming service from Disney, will see their prices go up starting next week, putting them in line with what newer subscribers are paying.
Last February, the cost of Disney+ in the UK jumped up from £5.99/month to £7.99/month and from £59.99/year to £79.90/year.
Existing subscribers were able to keep their original subscription costs, but only for a limited time – and that is ending now (but there’s still a short window to save some money – see below).
It features content from the worlds of Disney, Marvel, Pixar, Star Wars and National Geographic, as well as more “mature” content on its Star category.
The price increase came about along with the launch of Star, on February 23, 2021.
Star brought with it hundreds of additional general entertainment TV shows and films, including some big names, such as The Walking Dead, which moved over from the Disney-owned Fox channel that shut down earlier this year.
Those who subscribed to Disney+ before the cut-off date were able to keep paying the old price – until August 23.
Whether you will see the new pricing right away – or at a later date – depends on whether you’re a monthly subscriber or an annual one:
If you’re a monthly subscriber to Disney+ and you’re still paying £5.99/month, then your next monthly payment (after August 23) will be at the new cost – £7.99/month.
If you’re an annual subscriber who last paid £59.99 for a year, your next renewal (after August 23) will cost £79.90 for a full year.
New subscribers will of course also keep paying the existing (since February) prices of £7.99 and £79.90.
Disney+ Savings Trick
If you want to save some money and you’re still on the old monthly plan (£5.99/month), you can still switch to the annual plan before August 23 – and pay the old £59.99/year rate (but when it renews next year, it will be at the new £79.90/year rate).
But you need to hurry up – if you do it on or after August 23, the new annual price will already be in place.
Also remember that if you’re already on the £7.99/month rate, your annual rate will also be £79.90 and there’s no way for you to get the cheaper rate.
Disney+ Updated Pricing VS. The Competition
With early Disney+ adopters now joining the crowds paying the higher subscription costs, it’s worth taking a look at how the other major subscription services in the UK compare to Disney’s popular service.
Netflix, the leading streaming service in the UK (in terms of subscriber numbers), offers three pricing tiers:
The Basic Plan, which only gives you SD content, costs £5.99/month, The Standard Plan (with HD content and 2 screens at the same time) is £9.99/month, and The Premium Plan (With 4K content and 4 screens) is £13.99/month.
Amazon Prime Video costs £5.99/month (or £79/year if you get the full Amazon Prime membership), and includes 4K streaming, so it’s cheaper than Disney+.
NOW (formerly known as NOW TV), offers separate plans for films, TV shows, and sports. At £9.99/month for the TV package (that includes kids content) and £9.99/month for the Cinema membership, it’s by far the most expensive UK streaming service when you combine the two.
Plus, NOW doesn’t offer any 4K content, and even just for Full HD (1080p) you need to pay an additional £5/month for NOW Boost, which also removes adverts (yes, you get advert breaks on NOW, unless you pay for Boost).
Apple TV+ costs £4.99/month, and while it used to be free for those who purchased a new Apple device, the free trial is now for 3 months and not a full year.
While Apple TV+ is still the cheapest big-name streaming service, its library of content is smaller, at least for now, than what the others offer.
In terms of content hours, Disney+ is still far behind Netflix and Prime Video: a recent Ofcom report revealed that in the first quarter of 2021, Amazon Prime Video had 41,000+ hours of content, and Netflix had 38,000+ hours.
Disney+ had only 4,000 hours of content in 2020, before the addition of Star – and in 2021, with Star, content hours more than doubled to 9,000+, with those numbers growing every month.
In terms of subscriber numbers, Disney+ is quite popular around the world – it recently reached 116 million subscribers.