Disney Plus may soon include always-on channels

According to a report from The Information, Disney Plus may soon introduce always-on channels dedicated to Star Wars and Marvel content. These channels, similar to those found on free ad-supported streaming services like Pluto or Tubi, may remove the need for users to choose what to watch next.

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In addition to Star Wars and Marvel series, Disney could offer channels streaming Disney’s classic animated films or movies from Pixar, The Information reports. Although viewers would need a Disney Plus subscription to access these channels, they will likely include advertisements similar to traditional television.

There are no specific details regarding the launch of the new channels, and Disney has declined to comment on the matter. Nevertheless, the rumoured channels align with Disney’s aim to retain viewers on its Disney Plus app, which now features a Hulu tile.

This potential change also mirrors the increasing popularity of free ad-supported streaming TV (FAST). A recent report from Bloomberg noted that viewers spend more time watching the Fox-owned Tubi than platforms such as Peacock, Max, and Paramount Plus. One attraction of FAST services is the ability to watch random shows without the need to focus intently on every word, as you would with content like Fallout.

Amazon’s Prime Video also includes always-on channels through its FAST service Freevee. Unlike Disney’s reported plans, however, Freevee is accessible without a subscription via its dedicated app. The cable-like transformation of streaming is likely to become a more widespread trend in the future, as Disney also plans to launch a streaming-only version of ESPN and a live sports streaming package with Warner Bros. Discovery and Fox.