Netflix’s ad-supported tier will reportedly go live on November 1. As per Variety, the streaming platform is moving up the timeline for the debut of its cheaper plans, in an attempt to beat Disney+. The tier was initially planned to go live in early 2023. But, seeing Disney+ is releasing their own version of an ad-supported bundle on December 8 in the US — Disney+ Hotstar already offers a free ad-based plan — Netflix has brought it forward. Netflix’s forthcoming ad-supported tier will reportedly cost between $7 (about Rs. 560) and $9 (about Rs. 720) monthly.
During their Q2 earnings call in July, Netflix revealed its plans to launch the ad-supported tier “around the early part of 2023,” with the release being targeted at a handful of markets, where the advertising spend was “significant.” According to Variety, the ad-based subscription plans will now release on November 1, across multiple countries, including the US, Canada, UK, France and Germany. The company’s intention is to roll out the service gradually and observe how consumers react to it. Currently, there is no word on an India rollout.
“We are still in the early days of deciding how to launch a lower-priced, ad-supported tier and no decisions have been made,” a Netflix representative told Variety. The intent behind the price cut is to attract new subscribers to the service, who wouldn’t mind watching a few advertisements in exchange for quality content. In the early stages, Netflix will reportedly target about four minutes of commercials per hour, which would show up before and during the programmes. But not after.
As stated before, Netflix’s ad-supported tier is expected to cost between $7 to $9, which is roughly half the amount US audiences pay normally. At $15.49 (about Rs. 1,237), subscribers in the US get access to the Standard plan, which supports 1080p video streaming on up to two screens at a time. Netflix has not revealed any details about the streaming quality in their upcoming ad-supported tier.
In comparison, the competitor Disney+’s ad-supported plans start at $7.99 (about Rs. 639), putting it roughly in the same ballpark as Netflix. The latter is asking for a $10 million (about Rs. 79 crore) minimum commitment in annual ad spending from agencies, as per Variety’s sources.
Netflix wants to lock in advertisement purchases by September 30 to meet the November 1 deadline/ launch date. “For the first phase of the ad tier’s rollout, Netflix will not serve ads based on geography (except by country), age, gender, viewing behaviour or time of day,” it concludes.