After years of refusing to be an ad-free streaming platform, Netflix co-founder and co-CEO, Reed Hastings, said Tuesday that the company is now quite open to offering lower prices by starting to show ads, as a consumer choice.
Apparently, the company is now looking into other options and is “trying to figure that out over the next year or two”. Reed acknowledged that introducing a version that had ads would be a big change for the company, saying he was “against the complexity of advertising and is a big fan of subscription simplicity”.
Reporting from The Verge (20/4), Reed is now pitching the idea of an ad-supported version as something that makes a lot of sense for consumers who want to get lower prices and be tolerant of ads.
After they lost subscribers for the first time in a decade, Netflix seems to be open to a lot of what it has turned down. Ted Sarandos, Co-CEO, even explained what it might take to move to the long-rumored live sports.
Quoted by Deadline, Ted said, “I'm not saying that we will never stream sports but we have to look at ways to grow a big revenue stream and a big profit stream with it”.
Netflix isn't the only video streaming company to introduce an ad-supported version. Competitors like Hulu, Peacock, and even HBO Max offer plans that allow consumers to pay lower subscription fees, in exchange for having their videos occasionally interrupted by ads. Disney has also announced that they are adding an ad-supported option to Disney Plus at the end of the year.
Currently, Netflix charges USD 10 per month for its basic plan, USD 15.49 per month for its standard plan, and USD 20 per month for its premium plan. This price is relatively new – the company raised it in March.
Introducing lower costs and being ad-supported could be part of a company's plan to increase its subscriber base, and introduce other revenue streams.