Netflix’s cheaper, ad-supported offering might cut out an essential feature.
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(Pocket-lint) – In an attempt to buck the trend of declining subscriber numbers, Netflix plans to introduce an ad-supported streaming plan next year. According to a new report, this plan won’t just be offered at a lower price in exchange for showing ads. It could also limit a key feature, which could make value-conscious consumers reluctant to subscribe to this new plan.
According to the code spotted in the Netflix app by the developer Steve Moser, and then shared with Bloomberg, Netflix plans to limit offline downloads to subscribers on its ad-free tiers. Currently, Netflix offers three tiers: For $9.99 a month, you can watch standard definition content on one screen at a time; for $14.99 a month you can watch in HD on two screens at once; for $19.99 you can watch in UHD with 4K on four screens at once.
All three plans are currently ad-free and support offline downloads. (To learn how to download movies or TV shows to watch offline later in the Netflix app, see the Netflix support hub here).
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That said, when announcing its second quarter results, Netflix said it expects to launch its first advertising package “in early 2023.” The streaming giant has yet to reveal the price of the new ad-free offering, or what it may or may not offer at launch, but it has promised that it will cost less than its most popular ad-free offering: The standard plan, which costs $14.99 per month in the US and allows two HD streams.
Remember that for the second quarter, Netflix revealed that they lost 970,000 subscribers worldwide. So the news that an ad-supported version is coming soon comes as no surprise. “While it will take some time to grow our membership base for advertising level and associated advertising revenue, in the long term we believe that advertising can provide a substantial increase in subscriber numbers (thanks to higher prices low) and profit growth (thanks to ad revenue),” Netflix said in its earnings statement.
Netflix first revealed plans to launch an ad-supported service in its Q1 report – when he also revealed that he was cracking down on password sharers.
Written by Maggie Tillman.