Netflix streams everything cable does — including ads
The Future. Netflix’s profits and subscriber base have dwindled recently as intense competition has hurt every major player in the streaming wars. So the streaming titan has opted to include a new, cheaper ad-supported service in hopes of reducing subscriber turnover while making extra income from those who stay. If successful, the move could return Netflix to the front of the pack.
Ads, now only $6.99
This week, Netflix started offering Netflix Basic with Ads for $6.99/month.
- Like most online video ads, these are 15-30 seconds long. Users can pause them but not skip through them.
- Netflix says users should expect four to five ads per hour, but not all shows and movies will have them. Some will feature front ads, while others will have one to three midroll ads (plus front ads), which will split the programming up at varying times.
- With this plan, some of Netflix’s content is searchable but not available to watch. These programs are marked by a red padlock, and clicking on them will present users with a window indicating which upgraded plan would allow them to watch that program. There’s no way for users to tell which content is restricted until they already have the Basic with Ads plan.
The company’s next cheapest offering is its $9.99/month Basic Plan.
Join the club
Netflix isn’t the first streamer to try an ad-supported service; in fact, it’s one of the last. HBO offers an ad-supported plan for $10/month, while Hulu and Disney+ do the same for $8/month, and Paramount has the cheapest ad-supported plan at $5/month.
That said, the price of these new plans isn’t the only consideration. For the moment, Netflix isn’t changing the rates for its other plans, but Disney+ is about to make all of its other plans more expensive.
The Basic with Ads plan should at least bring Netflix back into step with its rivals; as a defensive move, it’s likely to succeed. It remains to be seen whether the initiative will grow Netflix’s numbers as much as the streamer hopes.