February 3, 2023

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Disney+’s ad-supported plan is currently unavailable on Roku devices • TechCrunch

On Thursday, Disney+ launched its first-ever ad-supported plan, Disney+ Basic, in the US for $7.99/month, which is the same price as the previous ad-free plan, before Disney raised the price to $10.99/month. However, Roku users looking to switch to the new plan are out of luck — at least for now.

According to the Disney Plus support site, the ad-supported tier is “not currently available on Roku devices.” It’s also not available in the Microsoft Windows desktop app, the site informs. As a result, US subscribers with Disney+ Basic or Disney bundles such as Disney Bundle Duo Basic (Disney+ Basic and Hulu’s promotional plan) or Trio Basic (Disney+ Basic, Hulu’s promotional plan, and ESPN+) are currently unable to stream on Roku or Windows.

Disney told TechCrunch it’s still in talks with Roku about an agreement that’s convenient for both parties. We suspect the dispute is about an ad-sharing agreement, since channels are required to enter into an ad revenue-sharing agreement with Roku by default. However, Disney declined to give details. Roku also declined to comment on the negotiations.

Roku has established itself as the leading smart TV platform in the US. As such, it’s a major downside for Disney+ that its new ad-supported tier won’t be available on Roku devices at launch.

Netflix ran into a similar problem when it rolled out its ad-supported plan a month ago.

At the time, Netflix told TechCrunch that support for its Basic with Ads plan wasn’t available on tvOS devices at launch, but would be coming soon. It’s still not available on both Apple TV and PlayStation 3 consoles, according to Netflix’s support site.