Gone are the days of free Disney+ trials. Over eight months after Disney launched its own streaming app, the House of Mouse is cutting consumers off from free access to the proprietary platform. As with most similar services, Disney+ previously had a seven-day grace period for potential customers, allowing them to try out the product before paying the monthly subscription. Now, Disney is removing free access entirely as the company continues to evolve the product and its direct-to-consumer division.
"We continue to test and evaluate different marketing, offers and promotions to grow Disney Plus," a Disney spokesperson said in a statement (via Variety). "The service was set at an attractive price-to-value proposition that we believe delivers a compelling entertainment offering on its own."
Customers will now need to pay $6.99 for their first month (or $69.99 for a year) for Disney+, a service that continually suggests exceeds expectations for the Mouse. In comparison, Netflix reigns supreme with a month-long trial while WarnerMedia's recently launched HBO Max comes with a seven-day trial before charging users $14.99 per month.
It's the most radical change — if you can call it that — since Kevin Mayer left the company last month. Mayer, who left to take up the CEO position of TikTok, oversaw the Disney direct-to-consumer division, which includes both Disney+ and Hulu. Mayer has since been replaced by Rebecca Campbell.
"Kevin has had an extraordinary impact on our company over the years," Disney CEO Bob Chapek said in a statement announcing Mayer's departure. "Having worked alongside Kevin for many years on the senior management team, I am enormously grateful to him for his support and friendship."
Mayer led the service through a rapid launch, which included a list of over 50 million subscribers by April of this year. "We're truly humbled that Disney+ is resonating with millions around the globe, and believe this bodes well for our continued expansion throughout Western Europe and into Japan and all of Latin America later this year," Mayer said in a statement at the time. "Great storytelling inspires and uplifts, and we are in the fortunate position of being able to deliver a vast array of great entertainment rooted in joy and optimism on Disney+."
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