Having already developed a sizeable customer base through The Mandalorian's first season, Disney+ became one of the go-to streaming platforms for subscribers when the COVID-19 pandemic began, and it's continued rising up the ranks. But the platform’s pricing has come into question, with some entertainment-seekers asking for a more budget-friendly option. After months of such questions, Disney CEO Bob Chapek provided an answer, though his blunt matter-of-fact response might not be what everyone was hoping to hear.
Disney+’s original content and huge catalog of intellectual property have placed it as one of the top streaming platforms. Every time, a new streaming platform arrives, budget-conscious viewers always ask about a cheaper option outside of Disney's budget-friendly bundle with Hulu and ESPN+. During an investors call (via THR), Disney CEO Bob Chapek was asked about the chances of specifically a cheaper Disney+ option happening at some point, and he replied with:
We have no such plans to do that. We’re happy with the model we got.
Bing, bang, boom. Unlike some corporate executives, Bob Chapek didn’t mind cutting right to the chase in confirming Disney+ isn't looking to ape the cheaper, ad-incorporated option that HBO Max is currently promoting. At least Chapek was honest about his thoughts on a cheaper option, and it's not like he's speaking lunacy. The current Disney+ price options are quite doable, especially with the Hulu and ESPN+ bundle. When compared to other streaming services, it’s already one of the cheaper options, especially when considering the company's vast library of content.
Plus, given the number of linear TV viewers who complain about watching ads, the House of Mouse’s approach is commendable. And also a little surprising, given how transparent Disney is about commercialism and consumerism. Perhaps if millions upon millions more fans voice their need for a cheaper streaming option, Bob Chapek & Co. might have a conversation or two, but not just yet.
Despite this blunt response, digital advertising is still a major part of Disney’s overall business strategy. Bob Chapek spoke on the power of digital business, saying to investors:
I think it speaks to the nature of how this business is rapidly changing. We are really happy with the upfront, our sales team did an extraordinary job.
It’s nice to know digital advertisement and streaming are becoming the bread and butter of the House of Mouse, at least for everyone but the company's biggest competitors. The ways things are lining up, it seems Bob Chapek and his mega-company will continue to embrace streaming and direct-to-consumer approaches in the future. Disney+, like many streamers, has become a nice outlet for all-Disney brands, especially during the pandemic.
Given all the upcoming Disney projects announced last year and everything else that's gone into development in the interim, Disney+ will serve as a surefire way to keep quite a few of Hollywood’s top studios cranking out new projects. Having an abundance of original content has put them in direct competition with Netflix and Amazon Prime in such a brief time. In a few years, the House of Mouse may be an even more dominant force in that space.
So maybe one day down the line, Bob Chapek and Disney will change course and provide a cheaper option for Disney+ in some way. But until then, the streamer will continue to soar with so many Marvel films and television series and Star Wars projects coming down the pipeline. Cruella and Loki are currently streaming, too, with Marvel's Black Widow and Disney's Jungle Cruise arriving on July 9 and July 30, respectively.