Since its inception, Netflix has never forced its users to sit through droning ads just so they can make a little extra money. However, the streaming giant is now considering adding a new ad-supported tier to appeal to a wider audience with more affordable plans.
After posting a 200,000 subscribers loss during the first quarter this year, the company thinks it’s about time they introduced ads on the streaming platform, tailored towards budget-conscious users who don’t mind them.
Netflix CEO Reed Hastings said while he is against the complexity of advertising, he is a bigger fan of consumer choice.
“Those who have followed Netflix know that I’ve been against the complexity of advertising and a big fan of the simplicity of subscription. But as much as I’m a fan of that, I’m a bigger fan of consumer choice,” said Hastings.
“Allowing consumers who would like to have lower price and are advertising-tolerant get what they want makes a lot of sense.”
This move, set to take place within a year or two, marks a major shift in Netflix’s 25-year history.
How would this affect viewers?
For viewers who do not want to see any ads, there is nothing to worry about as it is business as usual with the current plans being offered.
Currently, Netflix offers 3 different plans – Basic, Standard, and Premium and each has its own benefits. Of course, the Premium plan that offers more number of devices and screens, and Ultra HD content viewing comes at a higher price tag too.
However, for most of us, the Standard plan probably works out best in terms of cost-efficiency.
Meanwhile, Netflix also offers Mobile plans, which, as the name suggests, only allow for viewing on a mobile phone or tablet, and at a much cheaper monthly cost – around US$3.