Disney+ has now gobbled up an impressive 137 million subscribers around the world. Considering that Netflix has a little over 200 million, and it's been at this game for more than a decade, it's fair to call Disney's streaming service an incredible success. But pretty soon it's going to cost a little more to get your weekly hit of Marvel, Star Wars, Disney princesses, yadda yadda.
Starting on Friday, March 26th, Disney+ will raise its monthly subscription price in the US from $6.99 to $7.99. Its yearly subscription price will jump from $70 to $80, still a pretty considerable savings. The popular Media Monopoly bundle, combining Disney+, ad-supported Hulu, and ESPN+, will jump from $12.99 to $13.99 per month. None of those options will include premiere access to some movies as they land in theaters, like Mulan or Raya and the Last Dragon, which (when available) is an extra charge. Bills charged after Friday will go at the new rate—getting a yearly subscription in now would save you $26 between now and next March versus paying monthly.
Most analysts thought that Disney+ was severely underpriced when it was launched; Disney leveraged its huge collection of in-demand properties to almost instantly become a player in the crowded streaming market. And since Disney has more money than any dozen gods you'd care to name, it can afford to keep profit low for a few years to undercut competitors like Netflix, Amazon Prime, and HBO Now. But eventually the Mouse House will want to pay off that mortgage.
Even so, I'd still say that Disney+ is a pretty great deal, at least if you're at all interested in its deep library and new shows in some of the world's most popular franchises. Netflix ($14 a month for HD) has more new, original content by a huge margin, but it's back catalog has been waning ... not least because Disney and Warner Bros. are hoarding their own shows and movies. Speaking of which, HBO Now is making a case for itself with free movies the same day as theaters, but it looks like that's ending next year.
So as far as price bumps go, this one's easy enough to stomach. And assuming it's the only one in the next year or so, Disney+ will remain on my monthly subscription list.