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Why is 'Cancel Disney Plus' trending? New changes explained

The phrase "Cancel Disney Plus" began trending online this week following the company's decision to raise prices and crack down on account sharing.
Menu for the Disney Plus movie and entertainment streaming service.
Posted at 3:04 PM, Aug 16, 2023
and last updated 2023-08-16 15:04:39-04

"Cancel culture" is a term often associated with celebrity blunders, but as of recent it's fueled a new trend that takes aim at corporate entities. The latest victim: Disney+.

Online searches for "Cancel Disney Plus" began trending widely on social media this week following the company's decision to join Netflix in raising prices for its streaming services and cracking down on account sharing. During an earnings call last week, Walt Disney CEO Bob Iger said the company is looking to increase profits by hiking prices by $3 for its ad-free Disney+ and Hulu, increasing monthly subscription costs to almost $14 and $18, respectively.

Disney to raise prices on Disney+ and Hulu streaming services
The Walt Disney Co. logo.

Disney to raise prices on Disney+ and Hulu streaming services

The company said it will also start cracking down on password sharing.

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Iger acknowledged that the price hikes are intended to steer customers toward the cheaper, ad-supported versions of its streaming services — whose prices are not expected to change. But he added that the company also plans to adjust subscriber agreements later this year to cut down on account sharing. 

The announcements came after Disney reported a loss of about 300,000 subscribers in the fiscal third quarter of this year, contributing to a $460 million net loss in profits from the same time last year. While price increases are common in the streaming business, if prices get too high, they can lead to an even steeper drop-off in subscribers. And that seems to be the intention of some users. 

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Why keep paying for a half dozen streaming services when a writers' strike means few news shows? You can watch these services free of charge.

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Several users have taken to X, the social media company formerly known as Twitter, to voice their grievances. 

"I hate to say it but I think I'm gonna cancel Disney plus," one user wrote. "I haven't watched anything on it besides nat geo docuseries for the last three months. Netflix is also about to get the boot. I've only been watching prime [video] which has been slaying in my opinion." 

Another user even looped in the ongoing actors and writers strikes as a potential reason behind the new Disney changes. 

"At this point, @DisneyPlus, @hulu, & @RobertIger are begging us to either cancel our subscriptions or steal their services," they wrote. "This is not the image you want to have when combating against your employees for fair wages." 

While it remains to be seen whether the calls to action actually result in a loss of Disney+ subscribers, we should have a better idea in about three months when the company releases its next quarterly earnings report.