But there’s an incentive…
Netflix CEO Ted Sarandos has confirmed adverts will be coming to the streaming service in the near future after financial struggles in 2021 and a tough start to 2022.
While viewers might feel disappointed to hear that the time where you could watch your favourite shows entirely uninterrupted has come to an end, don’t get ahead of yourselves, as the streaming giant isn’t imposing this on all its subscribers.
Speaking in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Sarandos said: “We’ve left a big customer segment off the table, which is people who say: ‘Hey, Netflix is too expensive for me and I don’t mind advertising’.
“We’re adding an ad tier; we’re not adding ads to Netflix as you know it today. We’re adding an ad tier for folks who say, ‘Hey, I want a lower price and I’ll watch ads’.”
Essentially, people will soon be able to pay less for a service more reminiscent of old-fashioned TV or akin to YouTube – though the latter is obviously free and users can pay to remove ads entirely.
Not only will this be relief to more than 221 million subscribers around the world but it also offers a genuinely viable and attractive option for those looking to pinch the pennies and save some more money every year or join the service for the first time.
The current price for a standard subscription is £10.99 which can be used on two different devices – account-sharing is also set to be cracked down on soon – and the premium upgrade allows you to watch in Ultra HD on four different devices at £15.99.
This new tier, which has yet to be fully announced, will be at a lower price point but it remains unclear how many devices you will be able to register.
Netflix isn’t the only streaming service to have begun including advertising in their business model, as Amazon Prime started phasing in ads for certain movies and TV shows back in 2020. Moreover, back in March, Disney+ officially announced an almost identical service to the one proposed by Netflix rolling out in late 2022 for the US and expanding internationally into 2023.
Disney’s distribution chairman Kareem Daniel said, “Expanding access to Disney+ to a broader audience at a lower price point is a win for everyone – consumers, advertisers, and our storytellers”, adding that more people will have access to the content, advertisers will reach larger audiences and “storytellers will be able to share their incredible work with more fans and families.”
So Netflix adverts are coming whether you like it or not – the question is, are you willing to suffer through them to save a few quid or is uninterrupted streaming a non-negotiable for you?