Disney Plus’ price increase took away its biggest selling point

Disney Plus movies on TV
(Image credit: Disney Plus)

Disney Plus, home to an extensive library of some of the best TV shows and movies, has just announced a price increase that will take effect from March 5, 2024. To say I’m mad would be an understatement. 

I understand (sort of) that streaming services need funds to invest in future content that will ultimately keep us drawn to said service. But Disney, being the huge conglomerate that it is, I reckon doesn’t need to increase prices. After all, the streamer has already been able to produce some of the best TV shows and some of the best movies while keeping subscriptions at a steady cost. 

4K me

Disney Plus already included 4K/Dolby Vision content and Dolby Atmos soundtracks at no extra cost to the consumer. This, to me, was one of Disney Plus’ most attractive qualities. Netflix, Stan and Binge all charge a premium for access to 4K content, yet Disney Plus – along with Prime Video – bundled it in with the regular monthly subscription. This meant you could watch Star Wars, Pixar movies and all manner of other original and third-party shows in glorious ultra high-def and really make your purchase of one of the best TVs truly worth it. 

Come March 5, Disney Plus will charge Aussies an extra AU$4 a month for the privilege of 4K/Dolby Vision content. Not cool if you ask me. Having said that, Disney Plus subscribers in the UK have already seen their Disney Plus cost increase by £3 per month for 4K content. In the US, it’s slightly different. US customers experienced a similar price increase from October 12, 2023, although over there, Disney Plus offers a much greater selection of tiers that can include subscriptions to Hulu and ESPN Plus, too. A more affordable ad-based tier was introduced at the same time, but this still includes 4K content. 

Aussies will be able to subscribe to an annual plan when the changes come into effect on March 5 for the not insignificant sum of AU$179.99. This, on paper, seems extortionate and, in many ways, it is. But, to give Disney Plus some credit (I’m not a totally cynical man), this works out to be around AU$15 a month, which is still more affordable (note, not cheap) compared to the likes of Netflix and Stan, with both charging upwards of AU$20 for their Premium tiers with 4K content.

The most magical streamer?

I will still most likely continue to subscribe to Disney Plus. I love the content available to stream which, aside from the aforementioned Pixar movies, includes other exclusive TV shows such as Only Murders in the Building and Welcome to Wrexham. I’m currently on a monthly subscription rather than paying a lump-sum annual fee as it suits my lifestyle better. However, with the new price increase, I will likely have to change to the annual model as the AU$15-ish per month it works out to be, is only a dollar or so more than the current AU$13.99 cost. 

Of course, what I should do (and what I recommend you, dear reader, do as well) is lock in 12 more months of Disney Plus at the current cost, and avoid having to pay the increased subscription fee for another year. 

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Max Langridge
Staff Writer

Max is a digital content writer for TechRadar, covering home entertainment and audio, phones, laptops, gaming and virtually anything else that falls under the consumer electronics umbrella. Hailing from the United Kingdom, Max spent a combined five years writing for What Hi-Fi? and Pocket-lint, before moving to Australia in 2018. After a brief stint writing for men’s lifestyle publications, Max is back to working on his first passion of technology.