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Disney Plus’ ad-supported plan may not let you watch movies with far-away friends

Disney Plus’ ad-supported plan may not let you watch movies with far-away friends


Code suggests that the $7.99 plan will add ads and drop SharePlay and GroupWatch

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Image showing the Disney Plus logo, with two scribbles forming Mickey Mouse ears. The background is teal, with blue squiggles around the edge.
It seems like Disney’s following in Netflix’s footsteps.
Illustration by Nick Barclay / The Verge

If you subscribe to Disney Plus’ upcoming ad-supported tier, you may miss out on features that are available to other subscribers. Some code discovered by MacRumors’ Steve Moser suggests that GroupWatch and SharePlay — features that let you remotely watch a movie or show with friends and family — won’t be available if you’re using the $7.99 version of Disney’s service (via XDA).

Disney didn’t immediately reply to The Verge’s request for comment on whether it’s actually planning to not allow ad-supported users to watch content with it or Apple’s system. The code seems pretty unambiguous; it’s a tooltip saying, “Groupwatch and Shareplay unavailable for accounts on the ads tier.” However, it could always be a placeholder or a decision that Disney walks back before actually launching the plan in December.

If Disney actually does gate SharePlay and GroupWatch to its non-ad-supported tiers, it wouldn’t be the only one cutting features from its less expensive plan. While Netflix doesn’t support SharePlay in the first place, it has announced that its most basic plan won’t let you watch downloaded content offline. It’ll also be limited to 720p and won’t have all the content available to normal Netflix subscribers, though the company does say it’s working on the latter point.