We’ve known for a while that Netflix has been tinkering with the idea of introducing an ad-supported subscription tier. The OTT platform which saw a record number of subscriber losses has been struggling to keep up with the increasing competition from Amazon Prime Video, Disney+ Hotstar, and more.
A more affordable plan might steady the boat for a while, and seem like a good strategy in hindsight. However, there might be a small caveat, which might prove to be a deal-breaker for some. Not sure what we’re on about? Here’s everything we know about Netflix’s new plan.
To roll out its new subscription model, Netflix is recruiting the help of Microsoft as its global advertising, technology, and sales partner. A statement released by the company read, “Microsoft has the proven ability to support all our advertising needs as we work together to build a new ad-supported offering. More importantly, Microsoft offered the flexibility to innovate over time on both the technology and sales side, as well as strong privacy protections for our members.” What this could translate into is all the advertisements served on the website will be guided through Microsoft’s platform.
According to a recent report by Bloomberg, the streaming giant may gatekeep some of its content from being downloaded for offline viewing. The report states that a code found inside the company’s iPhone app confirms this news. The same code also suggests that users will not be able to skip ads or access playback control during ad breaks.
Yet another setback for the ad-tier subscription would be its restriction from accessing the entirety of Netflix’s catalog. During a Q2 earnings call, the company executives discussed how the ad-supported tier will have “access to the vast majority of the content,” which translates into some content being hidden behind more expensive plans.
Giving us a direct hint, Netflix co-CEO Ted Sarandos said, “Today, the vast majority of what people watch on Netflix, we can include in the ad-supported tier. There are some things that don’t… that we’re in a conversation about with the studios, but if we launched the product today, the members in the ad tier would have a great experience. We will clear some additional content, but certainly not all of it, but we don’t think it’s a material holdback to the business.”
As far as the when is concerned, reports suggest that Netflix might introduce the new subscription at the beginning of 2023. As per the company, it plans to “start in a handful of markets where advertising spending is significant,” which could mean the US and the UK market might be the first countries to see the rollout happening. What now remains to be seen is how they’ll target the pricing in a price-conscious country like India, where the mobile subscription starts at Rs 149 per month.
Image credits: Netflix