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Disney+ to offer cheaper subscription plan this year

It's unclear exactly when the new tier will roll out for U.S. consumers or what it will cost when it does land.

WASHINGTON — Disney+ will be introducing a lower-cost, ad-supported tier later this year, the media giant announced Friday morning

The streaming service carries a variety of shows and movies from across Disney-owned studios and producers, as well as some original content.  

Currently, Disney+ offers a base subscription without ads for $8 a month, or $80 per year. 

A number of other streaming services including HBO Max, Paramount+, Discovery+ and Peacock already offer ad-supporting subscription options. 

Hulu, another popular streaming platform that is owned by Disney, already features a two-tier payment system where customers can either pay a discounted rate of $7 to watch with ads, or watch without interruptions for $13. 

"Expanding access to Disney+ to a broader audience at a lower price point is a win for everyone - consumers, advertisers, and our storytellers,” said Kareem Daniel, the chairman of Disney Media and Entertainment Distribution, in a statement. “More consumers will be able to access our amazing content. Advertisers will be able to reach a wider audience, and our storytellers will be able to share their incredible work with more fans and families.”

Few details about the ad-supported tier have been released. Disney hasn't shared any information on pricing or an exact launch date for the service, but a company statement said they hope to release the new tier sometime in late 2022 for the U.S. and internationally sometime in 2023. 

The move is part of a push by Disney to build an audience of 230-260 million subscribers by 2024. Other parts of that initiative include a recent focus on television shows based on popular media franchises such as Star Wars and the Marvel Cinematic Universe. 

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