Editor's take: Disney is planning to expand access to its direct-to-consumer streaming service later this year with the addition of an ad-supported tier. The company was light on details regarding its new plan but if we had to guess, the ad-supported tier probably won't be free outright. Instead, it will likely be more affordable than the standard ad-free offering - perhaps in the $3.99 to $4.99 per month range.

As it stands today, access to Disney+ commands $7.99 per month, or $79.99 per year when paid up front which works out to roughly $6.67 per month. There's also the Disney Bundle, which consists of Disney+, ESPN+ and Hulu (the ad-supported tier) for $13.99 a month or $19.99 a month if you want Hulu without ads.

Rita Ferro, president of advertising at Disney, said advertisers have been clamoring for the opportunity to be part of Disney+. "Disney+ with advertising will offer marketers the most premium environment in streaming with our most beloved brands, Disney, Pixar, Star Wars, Marvel and National Geographic," the executive added.

Disney said it viewed the ad-supported offering as a building block on its path to achieving 230 million to 260 million Disney+ subscribers by FY24. If you recall, the company finished 2021 with 129.8 million Disney+ subscribers. To put that into perspective, industry leader Netflix ended last year with 222 million paying subscribers while Paramount+ went into 2022 with 32.8 million subscribers.

Speaking of Paramount+, there's still time for new and returning subscribers to grab three months of Paramount+ at an 80 percent discount. That offer is set to expire on March 7, however, so you'll want to act fast if you want it.

Image credit Marques Kaspbrak