Streaming service Disney+ has reportedly removed the option to try out 7 free days before committing to a payment plan. Most interestingly, this decision was apparently made without any official announcement. The change was first reported on by French news source Numerama on June 19, and has only become widely known following the publication of that article.
Now, when you attempt to sign up for an account on Disney+, you are not prompted with the opportunity to begin a free trial. Instead, new users are immediately prompted to enter payment information and choose a subscription plan. Monthly plans cost $6.99, with a $12.99/month “bundle plan” also offered which includes access to Hulu and ESPN+. Additionally, a 12-month subscription to Disney+ can be purchased for $69.99.
When asked to provide a comment on the situation, a spokesperson for Disney+ told The Verge “We continue to test and evaluate different marketing, offers and promotions to grow Disney+.”
Many suspect that the timing of this decision might have been quite deliberate indeed. On July 3, Disney+ will release one of its most highly anticipated titles so far: a recording of a performance by the original cast of hit musical Hamilton. This filmed version, which was made in 2016, features the show’s writer, Lin-Manuel Miranda, starring in the title role.
Fans of Hamilton have been eagerly waiting for the film’s release, with many seeing it as their best or perhaps only chance to view the production. Even before Broadway and the West End shut down their theaters to prevent the sped of COVID-19, tickets prices for Hamilton had hovered in the range of several hundred dollars – and had only increased following the show taking home 11 Tony Awards and the Pulitzer Prize for Drama.
So if you’re looking to watch Hamilton, you’ll have to make a minimum one-month commitment to the Disney+ service, which will almost certainly bring in a lot of money. However, many annoyed fans have stated that they will cancel the service after they have watched Hamilton, meaning that the move may potentially lose Disney money in the long run.