| USA TODAY
ShowBiz Minute: Disney, TIME, Cardi BDisney unveils plans to stream a galaxy of new series, films; Joe Biden and Kamala Harris named TIME Person of the Year; Cardi B wins Billboard Woman of the Year. (Dec. 11)Netflix isn’t the only video streamer upping its monthly fee: Disney+ will cost $1 more in March 2021.The entertainment giant announced the fee increase for its subscription service Thursday during an investor event during which Disney unveiled 10 new Marvel series, 10 more “Star Wars” series and more than two dozen Disney and Pixar movies or series.Disney+, which launched in November 2019, has 86.8 million global subscribers as of Dec. 2, Disney CEO Bob Chapek said.Currently, Disney+ costs $6.99 monthly, or $69.99 annually. As of March 26, 2021, the cost will increase $1 monthly to $7.99, or $79.99 per year.Disney+: How streaming service will load up on new Marvel, ‘Star Wars’ and Pixar seriesGoogle: Ouster of top AI researcher draws sharp new scrutiny of how it treats Black employeesAt that time, subscribers can also get the Disney+, Hulu, and ESPN+ in a bundle priced at $13.99 per month (currently priced at $12.99). Also available: Disney+, ESPN+ and Hulu without most advertisements for $17.99; that bundle will increase to $18.99 with the March 26, 2021 price increase.With all the content in the works for Disney+, the company felt the price increase was warranted. “We also believe we have the opportunity to increase Disney+ pricing given the additional value we will be adding to the service,” chief financial officer Christine Mary McCarthy said during the event. In October, Netflix announced price hikes that made the cost of its most popular plan, which lets subscribers watch in high-def on two screens at the same time, $13.99 monthly, a $1 increase, for new subscribers. The lowest priced plan of $8.99 for one standard-def stream remained the same price.The premium plan ($15.99), to watch up to four screens with 4K video, now costs $17.99. Current subscribers are starting to see their monthly bill reflect that increase now.The price increase is a sign that Disney is comfortable with its current growth pace. Within four years, Disney expects to have between 230 million and 260 million subscribers to Disney+ and its Star entertainment brand, which has launched in India and will be rolled out in various forms in Europe and Latin America in 2021.”Disney’s aggressive 4-year global guide and indicated price increase in the US … suggest they are not concerned about churn. Even though much of the promised new content is not slated to arrive until 2022-2023,” said Todd Juenger, media analyst with Bernstein Research, in a note to investors Friday.Disney shares were up 14% to $177 in morning trading Friday.Follow Mike Snider on Twitter: @MikeSnider.