The clock is ticking for Disney+ subscribers and potential new customers in the UK. Starting November 1, Disney+ is set to introduce a major overhaul of its subscription tiers, each with distinct features and pricing.
This restructuring isn’t just about offering more choices – it’s also a signal of an imminent price hike for some.
And the top it all off – the new password sharing rules on Disney+ can impact your costs as well (see more on that below).
If you’re contemplating subscribing to Disney+ or are an existing monthly subscriber, acting now, before the major revamp, could save you money in the long run.
As we previously reported, Disney+ is adding a new ad-supported tier to its streaming service in the UK, and a “Premium” tier. Therefore, instead of just one subscription tier – there will be three, starting next week.
The New Disney+ Tiers And Prices
Since its launch in the UK, Disney+ has had just one tier, at £7.99/month (it used to be £5.99/month), or £79.90/year.
But from November 1, 2023, Disney+ will introduce three separate tiers:
- Standard With Ads: Priced at £4.99/month, this plan offers Full HD 1080p video quality, two concurrent streams, and 5.1 and Stereo audio. However, it won’t support downloads.
- Standard: For £7.99/month or £79.90 annually, subscribers get Full HD 1080p video (no 4K), two concurrent streams, 5.1 and Stereo audio, and the added benefit of downloads.
- Premium: At £10.99/month or £109.90 annually, this tier offers up to 4K UHD and HDR video quality, four concurrent streams, Dolby Atmos audio, and download capability.
Existing subscribers will continue with their current plan, soon to be renamed “Disney+ Premium”, but will have the option to switch to the new Standard tiers.
However, it’s important to note that existing subscribers will only keep their current pricing until December 6. After that, they will be billed the new price starting from their next billing cycle (unless they switch to a different tier).
Last Chance To Save With The Annual Plan
If you’re considering subscribing to Disney+, the annual plans offer a way to lock in savings – but only if you act before November 1.
The current Disney+ plan costs £7.99/month, which amounts to £95.88 over a year. However, if you opt for the annual plan at £79.90, you already save nearly £16.
After November 1, the “Premium” plan – which is equivalent to the current single plan – will cost £10.99/month or £109.90 annually.
If you subscribe to the current annual plan before the price change, you’ll be paying the current rate of £79.90, saving you £30 compared to the new annual price (and £52 in total if you compare it to the new monthly rate).
So, if you want to make the most of your Disney+ subscription, now is the time to act, as subscribing before November 1 allows you to lock in the current rates.
However – as I always say, one of the benefits of cord cutting and streaming TV is the flexibility it gives you, to sign up for one service, then cancel after a couple of months and switch to another, then come back when there’s something new to watch on the first one.
So, if you pay for a year of Disney+ in advance – you lose some of that flexibility. Therefore, this is only a good deal if you’re quite sure you’ll want to keep Disney+ around for several months.
The Double Whammy: Password Sharing Crackdown Adds To The Cost
Just when you thought the price hike was the only financial hurdle to consider, Disney+ throws in another curveball: a crackdown on password sharing.
The term “household” is meticulously defined as “the collection of devices associated with your primary personal residence that are used by the individuals who reside therein.”
According to the updated agreement, Disney+ “may analyse the use of your account to determine compliance with this Agreement.”
If a violation is detected, Disney+ reserves the right to “limit or terminate access to the Service and/or take any other steps as permitted by this Agreement.”
This means that if someone in your household violates these terms, you, as the account holder, could face repercussions, which could range from limitations on your account to outright termination of your subscription.
For those who have been enjoying a cost-effective Disney+ experience by splitting the bill with friends or extended family, this change effectively represents another price increase.
Previously, you might have been sharing a single “Premium” subscription, which allows four concurrent streams, among multiple households.
With that option off the table, each household will now need its own subscription, doubling or even quadrupling the cost depending on how many people you were sharing with.
Rethinking The Need For Premium
On the flip side, this change could prompt a reevaluation of your subscription needs.
If you were planning to subscribe to the upcoming “Premium” plan, primarily to take advantage of the four concurrent streams, but can no longer share your account with friends or family members outside your household – then you might not need those extra streams anymore.
In that case, downgrading to the “Standard” plan could be a more cost-effective option (but also remember that the new Standard plan does not support 4K and Dolby Atmos).