Disney is expanding ad sales executive Rita Ferro’s purview, elevating her to the role of president of global advertising.
The move comes ahead of the one-year anniversary of Disney+’s ad-supported tier, which had a total of 3.3 million sign-ups as of the end of the company’s fiscal third quarter of 2023. Disney+ reported a total of 146.1 million subscribers during the quarter.
According to the entertainment giant, 50% of new subscribers choose the ad tier and the service has seen a 35% increase in engagement from March to September. New ad capabilities include advance audience targeting across age, gender, geography, biddable transactions, and diversified ad formats, including 15 and 90 second spots as well as select content sponsorships, which are now available for the 2023 holiday season.
“Consistent with Disney’s strategic approach, we spent the last 10 months testing, learning and listening to our consumers and clients. That’s how we continue to create viewer-first experiences while simultaneously introducing new capabilities, functionality and formats,” Ferro said in a statement. “We’re seeing increased engagement and time spent, and now providing greater accountability for marketers through robust measurement, proving that premium content matters.”
In October, Disney+ raised the price of its ad-free tier from $10.99 to $13.99 per month, while Hulu raised the price of its ad-free tier from $14.99 to $17.99 per month and ESPN+ with ads was raised from $9.99 to $10.99 per month.
Hulu + Live TV packages with ads increased from $69.99 to $76.99 per month and no ads from $82.99 to $89.99 per month, while the price of its bundle of Disney+ (no ads), Hulu (no ads) and ESPN+ (with ads) increased from $19.99 per month to $24.99 per month and its bundle with all three ad-supported services increased from $12.99 per month to $14.99 per month. A new bundle with Disney+ Premium and Hulu (No Ads) is also available for $19.99 per month.
Disney will provide its next update on the ad tier’s progress when its reports its fourth quarter earnings for 2023 on Nov. 8 after the bell.
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