Following two more Marvel Studios projects releasing in 2022, next year will finally bring Phase 5 of the MCU starting with February's Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania. This will also include at least half a dozen new entries premiering exclusively on Disney+, kicking off a new era of storytelling from various corners of the MCU.
This new slate will include the first sophomore season for any live-action MCU show yet with Tom Hiddleston's Loki, which comes almost immediately after the MCU's first-ever Disney+ crossover event in Secret Invasion. Then, 2024 will bring Charlie Cox and Vincent D'Onofrio into an epic 18-episode adventure with Daredevil: Born Again, but there are also some changes coming to the service that will house these new shows.
In March 2022, Disney announced that Disney+ would be introducing a lower-priced version of the service that included advertisements, which would arrive before the end of the year. Now, more news on that update has made its way to the public, indicating some of the adjustments that MCU fans will have to make before Phase 5 begins.
Marvel's Phase 5 Disney+ Shows Jump in Cost
According to a new report from Variety, the pricing for Disney+ will come with an increase this December, in addition to an option that includes ads. The newly-named Disney+ Premium, the ad-free version of the service, will cost $10.99/month and take effect on December 8. Disney+ Basic, a version that will include ads starting at a rate of about 4 minutes every hour, will cost $7.99/month.
The price bump for the commercial-less tier, the version that Marvel fans have enjoyed throughout Phase 4, is a massive 38% increase, the largest increase the service has seen.
This will specifically affect MCU fans watching Phase 5, which will include at least six new exclusive Disney+ premieres throughout the next two years.
The MCU's Phase 4 started with WandaVision in January 2021 and will end with She-Hulk, a nine-episode series that concludes in October 2022. At $7.99/mo for 22 months, Marvel fans will have had to shell out $176 total to keep up with all of Disney+'s Phase 4 Marvel shows as they were released.
In comparison, Marvel's Phase 5 kicks off on the small screen with Secret Invasion (set to release in Spring 2023) and will end with Daredevil: Born Again, an 18-episode series that should wrap up in late Summer 2022. Assuming that Phase 5 spans for 19 months on Disney+ and the new subscription cost remains 10.99/mo that whole time, MCU diehards will need to spend $209 to watch the entire slate as it comes out, $33 more than the total subscriber cost for the duration of Phase 4.
Will Disney+ Price Increase Affect MCU Viewership?
Since streaming services have become more prevalent in the overall media landscape, price increases have become somewhat normal for services like Netflix, Hulu, and even Disney+. However, with Disney+ increasing in price more this time than any previous update, this could bring any number of changes for viewership as the MCU moves further into the Multiverse Saga.
Phase 4 brought the franchise's biggest round of content in history, totaling more minutes of screentime than the entire Infinity Saga combined. Phase 5 could very well challenge or pass that mark, with the Daredevil series alone bringing at least twice as many episodes as any previous Disney+ entry, and there will be even more interconnectivity between these shows and the theatrical movies as well.
The only mystery remaining is which specific shows will actually have ads attached to them, with the report indicating that some of the titles may run the same as they always have. With Marvel being one of the biggest studios to run on Disney+, Phase 5 of the MCU will likely be included in this new round of ad-based programming, but nothing will be confirmed until the changes take effect at the end of the year.
Phase 5 of the MCU will start on Disney+ with Secret Invasion in Spring 2023.