Netflix will reportedly be keeping selected content commercial-free under its upcoming ad-supported tier. According to Bloomberg, the streaming giant will keep ads away from new original movies, as well as kids programming, making the cheaper plan a bit more appealing.
The report said that the reasoning behind keeping the children’s shows ad-free is because the studios that have licensed the content to Netflix won’t allow it to run commercials on them. As for the company’s original movies, they will apparently be free of ads when they first premiere on the platform, although it’s unknown how long the period is between launching and being eventually monetised.
The move seems to be a way to soothe the concerns of top filmmakers, who are against their films being interrupted with ads, which would understandably disrupt the cinematic experience. While Netflix co-CEO Ted Sarandos initially confirmed that the ad-tier will be debuting later this year, a later report suggests that it will only be coming in early 2023.
The affordable ad-supported plan was announced when Netflix revealed that it had lost subscribers for the first time in over a decade, with its stock price tanking in recent months. While the price has not been revealed, it is expected to cost less than its current offerings, but it will reportedly also limit the number of content available to the tier’s subscribers.
Last month, the company announced that it is partnering with Microsoft to provide the infrastructure for the ad-tier. More recently, it was discovered in hidden code in the Netflix app that the cheaper plan will disable the ability for users to download content for offline viewing, a feature it added years ago.
Analysts estimate that with the new plan, Netflix could generate between US$3 billion (~RM13.45 billion) to US$4 billion (~RM17.93 billion) a year in ad sales. The streaming platform is also planning to cut down on password-sharing, with the company currently trialing additional home and member fees.