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Disney Plus’ Ad-Supported Tier Might Disable GroupWatch and SharePlay

Disney is set to launch a new ad-supported subscription plan for its streaming platform, Disney Plus, as it restructures the pricing. While the company hasn't revealed all the plan details just yet, some newly-discovered code might have shown some other limitations for the cheaper tier beyond having to withstand ads.

disney plus ad-supported tier
Credit: Disney

MacRumors’ Steve Moser discovered that the Disney Plus code suggests that users subscribed to the basic with ads tier won't be able to use GroupWatch or SharePlay. The code is quite straightforward, which is basically a tooltip that says “Groupwatch and SharePlay unavailable for accounts on the ads tier.”

If you're not familiar, GroupWatch is Disney Plus' in-house group-watching feature that lets several users watch the same show or movie simultaneously on the streaming platform, allowing anyone in the group to pause, reverse or forward the synced content. SharePlay, on the other hand, is Apple's implementation that works the same way using FaceTime, which also allows you to interact with your friends through the call while streaming together.

Of course, the new plan is only coming on 8 December, meaning that as long as it hasn't been officially announced, users who plan on using the ad tier can still hope that Disney decides not to implement the limited access in the finalised version. The basic with ads subscription will initially only be launched in the US, but there's a good chance that it will eventually make its way to other markets.

The price of the ad tier is set to debut at US$7.99 a month, which is the same as what the current plan costs now, but that's because starting from 8 December, the ad-free plan will be bumped up to US$10.99 per month. This specific restructuring could potentially be used as the template for other regions as well, but it's too early to tell. Currently, the streaming service costs S$11.98 per month in Singapore and Disney+ Hotstar costs RM54.90 for three months in Malaysia.

  • Disney Plus' upcoming ad tier might lock users out of watching with friends remotely.

  • New code suggests that GroupWatch and SharePlay won't be available to subscribers of the cheaper plan.

  • The ad-supported subscription is set to launch in the US on 8 December.

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