On Thursday, Disney+ launched its first-ever ad-supported plan, “Disney+ Basic,” in the U.S. at $7.99 per month, which is the same price as the previous ad-free plan before Disney raised the price to $10.99/month. However, Roku users wanting to switch to the new plan are out of luck — at least for now.
According to Disney Plus’s support website, the ad-supported tier is “not currently available on Roku devices.” It’s also not available on the Microsoft Windows desktop app, the site informs. So, at the moment, U.S. subscribers with Disney+ Basic or Disney Bundles like Disney Bundle Duo Basic (Disney+ Basic and Hulu’s ad plan) or Trio Basic (Disney+ Basic, Hulu’s ad plan and ESPN+) are unable to stream on Roku or Windows.
Disney told TechCrunch that it is still in talks with Roku about reaching an agreement that suits both parties. It’s our guess that the dispute is over an ad-share agreement as, by default, channels must enter an ad revenue split with Roku. Disney, however, declined to provide specifics. Roku also declined to comment on the negotiations.
Roku has cemented itself as the top smart TV platform in the United States. So, it’s a major disadvantage for Disney+ not to have its new ad-supported tier available on Roku devices at launch.
At the time, Netflix told TechCrunch that, at launch, support for its “Basic with Ads” plan wasn’t available on tvOS devices but would be coming soon. According to Netflix’s support website, it’s still unavailable on Apple TV as well as PlayStation 3 consoles.