Disney+ set for its biggest shake up in years

Reportedly planning a massive rethink on how to deliver Star Wars and Marvel shows

Disney+ on a wall TV
(Image credit: Disney / Adobe Stock)
Quick Summary

Disney+ is said to be going old school with the introduction of linear TV channels to its streaming lineup. These could be based on the likes of Star Wars and Marvel.

It is claimed that Disney is looking for new ways to retain subscriber attention for longer.

Disney reportedly has plans to shake up its Disney+ streaming platform in a drive to retain viewers.

It is claimed that the popular streaming service will soon add linear channels to its lineup, that are designed to keep subscribers watching for longer periods.

These channels could be based on Star Wars and Marvel, for example, with scheduled broadcasts available alongside on demand content.

The Information writes that this could boost ad revenue for the service, as rivals also explore the use of FAST (free ad-supported streaming) channels as an alternative experience. The big difference here though is that others generally offer commercialised live channels for free, such as Pluto TV, The Roku Channel and Amazon's Freevee.

It seems that the Disney+ channels will be included within existing payment tiers, rather than as a separate free option.

The Information also reports that the timing for the new format is not clear. However, Disney does have a track record with FAST channels – it launched similar services within its ABC.com app, including one dedicated to General Hospital.

Disney is currently looking at a number of ways to improve and adapt its Disney+ service. It is likely to introduce an additional payment for password sharing privileges in the coming weeks/months.

That will mean that families who share the same account across different households or locations will have to pay extra to continue.

It also introduced its own ad-supported tier in November last year, as well as split subscription options into three tiers – raising the price of its premium service in the process.

Disney+ is currently available in three tiers: Standard with Ads, priced at £4.99 / €5.99 per month, Standard at £7.99 / €8.99 per month, and Premium for £10.99 / €11.99 per month.

The Standard plans stream content at a maximum of 1080p and with 5.1 audio, while Premium subscribers get 4K HDR (Dolby Vision) and Dolby Atmos sound.

Those in the US have a slightly different system, with a Basic plan priced at $7.99 per month for ad-supported streaming. However, it streams at 4K HDR.

Rik Henderson
News Editor

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