Disney Plus Launches Ad-Supported Tier Sans Roku Support

Disney Plus on Roku
(Image credit: Future)

The Walt Disney Co. on Thursday launched its much-anticipated ad-supported iteration of Disney Plus with more than 100 advertising partners offering support. 

One key entity not backing the new discounted platform? Roku. 

As detailed on this Disney Plus help page (opens in new tab), Roku users are unable to sign up or play the $7.99-a-month partially ad-supported service, or the various Disney bundles in which it's included. 

Disney had no comment for Next TV's inquiry for comment and insight. However, a source familiar with Disney's negotiations said the company is still trying to work out an ad-revenue-sharing deal with Roku that is “fair and advantageous to both parties.”

Disney Plus with ads is also isn't supported by desktop computers running Microsoft Windows at launch.

Roku is the top TVOS in North America, with one in three smart TVs sold in the U.S. powered by its software interface. 

Notably, in the “monetization overview (opens in new tab)” 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.”

For its part, Netflix hoisted its own discounted ad-supported tier last month, but not with support from Apple TV 4K devices. ▪️

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!