Netflix is planning even more ad options cheapest subscription tier, according to a blog post (opens in new tab) by the popular streaming service.
Netflix currently subsidizes the Basic With Ads tier by selling spots to advertisers, allowing subscribers to start bingeing the best Netflix shows or best Netflix movies for a relatively small sum per month – but ads could get more hardcore in the year ahead, if this blog post is anything to go by.
Netflix laid out plans for new ways for advertising partners to reach its subscribers, including direct sponsorship of specific shows, or themed collections of programming – like sponsoring an entire slate of Valentine’s Day movies. Netflix specified that “brands will be able to run sponsorships at the start of an episode, showcasing their brand before an episode even begins.” It’s not clear whether this is in addition to other ads – but at the very least, it means you’re more likely to see the same ads over and over again.
Advertisers will also be able to buy their way into the Netflix Top 10 – the aggregated lists of most-viewed shows and films across the service – with an option that “guarantees brand placement within Netflix’s most popular shows and films.”
Ads for all!
Netflix’s ads-supported tier was controversial at first launch, given how anti-ads the streamer had been in its earlier years – setting itself apart from the competition with a slick, ad-free experience.
But the streamer now has five million subscribers worldwide for its ad-supported service after six months – making up around 2% of Netflix’s 232 million users – and the company says that around a quarter of new subscribers choose this tier.
Netflix seems to be pretty happy with these numbers – and it’s worth noting that the company recently upgraded the features of its Basic With Ads tier, so it’s not like users are getting nothing new as Netflix develops things.
Ads have so far been limited to the cheapest tier, and the low cost is no doubt helping Netflix in its drive to maintain subscriber growth at a fairly competitive time – with Disney Plus also struggling to retain users, and Paramount Plus hitting 60 million subscribers in recent weeks.
However, subscribers will only put up with so much advertising noise, and we hope Netflix is sensible enough to not push the limit too far.