With better margins on advertising-supported offerings, Disney, Netflix, Paramount, NBCUniversal and Warner Bros. Discovery find themselves incentivized to usher consumers to those plans.

On Disney’s last quarterly earnings call Aug. 9, CEO Bob Iger waited until the end of his opening remarks to drop the hammer: His company’s streaming business was introducing price increases. Big ones. The monthly cost of the Disney+ and Hulu ad-free tiers would be rising by nearly 30 percent, or $3.

For a company desperately trying to turn its money-losing streaming business into a moneymaker, the pivot marked a critical strategic shift in its path to profitability. However, Iger added that “maintaining access to our content for as broad an audience as possible is top of mind for us, which is why pricing for our stand-alone ad-supported Disney+ and Hulu offerings will remain unchanged.”

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