TV & Video Week in Review

Report Type: 
Week In Review

Disney+ launches ads

Disney+ officially launched its ad-supported tier. For $7.99/month, three dollars less expensive than the ad-free tier, subscribers can watch all Disney+ content with 15- and 30-second commercials from more than 100 advertisers secured by Disney for the launch. Disney has vowed to have no more than four commercials per hour of content to not overwhelm viewers with commercials. While this is less expensive than the ad-free tier, it is indeed the same price viewers were previously paying for that ad-free service.

The NPD Take:

  • Generally, SVOD services have generated around two-thirds of their base from lower priced ad-supported plans. As such, this launch allows Disney to propel growth after rapidly saturating the market with their ad-free service tier.
  • While launching with a very low ad-load, we wonder how long it will take before services such as Netflix and Disney+ need to increase their ad time in order to sustain rising content costs and show Wall Street continued revenue growth.

HBO Max is back on Prime

Amazon and Warner Bros. Discovery announced that HBO Max is once again available through Amazon Prime Video Channels. Channels through Prime Video allows viewers to subscribe to various other streaming services directly on the platform. These channels, which include a variety of platforms like Discovery+, AMC+, and Noggin, provide more content accessibility through one place. HBO Max was removed as a Channel in August 2021, but now it is back for $14.99/month, the same price as the ad-free tier for HBO Max itself. Prime customers that subscribe to HBO Max through Channels will access all HBO Max premium content. They will also get access to Warner Bros. Discovery’s combined HBO Max/Discovery+ streaming service when it launches next year.  

The NPD Take

  • Under the new leadership, subscriber growth trumps customer data access/control, as such look for more partnerships that will increase the growth potential for MAX.
  • Amazon has been working to increase its content availability in the past year, including streaming NFL Thursday Night Football and new release series such as The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power. “Channels” is clearly also part of that strategy.