Disney Plus Ad-Supported Tier Finally Available on Roku

Disney Plus key art
(Image credit: Disney)

The partially ad-supported version of Disney Plus is now streamable on the No. 1 connected TV device platform in America, Roku, four months after it launched. 

The $7.99-a-month Disney Plus Basic launched December 9 without Roku support, as both Disney and Roku struggled to negotiate terms of a revenue split. 

Disney Plus has updated its help center page, letting Roku users know that they can access Disney Plus Basic by updating their Disney Plus app. 

Neither Disney or Roku divulged details of their deal.

Notably, in the “monetization overview” Roku provides to developers, the company says it takes a 20% share of "transactional" revenue — that is, subscriptions and in-app purchases. 

For ad-supported channels, partners must agree to an “inventory split” with Roku, “whereby the channel sets up its own ad server and must send 30% of inventory to Roku. Roku retains 100% of revenue from this inventory (but is under no obligation to fill it). The publisher fully controls the remaining 70%, and keeps 100% of the revenue associated with its share of inventory.”

Disney has yet to break out subscriber numbers for its discounted tier, so it's unclear how much exclusion from Roku has impaired early performance of the new tier. 

Disney Plus Basic also launched without support for Microsoft Explorer on PC desktop — the status of that negotiation remains unclear. 

Also notable: Last week, Netflix secured support for its new ad-supported tier on Apple TV devices. 

Daniel Frankel

Daniel Frankel is the managing editor of Next TV, an internet publishing vertical focused on the business of video streaming. A Los Angeles-based writer and editor who has covered the media and technology industries for more than two decades, Daniel has worked on staff for publications including E! Online, Electronic Media, Mediaweek, Variety, paidContent and GigaOm. You can start living a healthier life with greater wealth and prosperity by following Daniel on Twitter today!