Disney+, the company’s direct-to-consumer streaming service, has ditched its previously offered seven-day free trial for new subscribers.
The shift – which was first spotted by Numerama – comes as the service is getting ready to premiere a filmed version of “Hamilton” on July 3. Disney reportedly spent $75 million to secure the rights to show the film on Disney+ and moved up the release date from its previously planned 2021 premiere.
"We continue to test and evaluate different marketing, offers and promotions to grow Disney Plus," the company said in a statement. "The service was set at an attractive price-to-value proposition that we believe delivers a compelling entertainment offering on its own."
Disney+ is currently priced at $6.99 per month or $69.99 per year. The service is also sold in a bundle with Hulu and ESPN+ for $12.99 per month.
Disney+ has about 54.5 million paid subscribers according to an update the company provided in May.
Disney said Disney+ ended the first quarter with 33.5 million paid subscribers. That was prior to several international launches for the service in Western Europe and India, which helped push Disney+ past 50 million subscribers in early April. CEO Bob Chapek during Disney’s most recent earnings call said his company has been “quite pleased” with the growth in the first four weeks of the second quarter. He said Disney+ will begin rolling out in Japan in June, followed the Nordics, Belgium, Luxembourg and Portugal in September, and Latin America toward the end of 2020.
Disney+ is already approaching the low end of subscriber growth guidance that the company forecast for 2024. That has led many industry analysts to dramatically alter their own predictions for the service. In May, Digital TV Research analyst Simon Murray issued a revised forecast and predicted Disney+ will have 202 million subscribers globally by 2025. That’s significantly higher than his previous estimate of 126 million.