Netflix is preparing to launch a cheaper subscription option that will be subsidized by advertising. However, occasional commercials will not be the only limitation.
Netflix confirmed during an earnings call that the company is renegotiating content deals for its future ad-supported plan. That means studios must agree to allow their content to be shown on the ad-supported plan, and knowing how contract negotiations with streaming services usually go, chances are that not all studios will agree to Netflix’s terms. The cheapest Netflix plan with ads may be missing some movies and shows in addition to ads.
Netflix executives said on the earnings call: “The vast majority of what people watch on Netflix we can put on the ad-supported tier. There are some things that are not, and we are talking to the studios. But if we launch the product today, the ad tier members will have a great experience.”
Most (if not all) Netflix originals are likely to be present on the ad-supported plan, so you probably don’t have to worry about missing out. Stranger Things, The Crown, Queer Eyeand other Netflix productions. They could be missing shows and movies licensed from other studios, which in the United States currently includes Seinfeld, Breaking Bad, Community, Better Call Saul, The IT Crowdand many others.
Netflix expects to introduce the ad-supported plan in early 2023. Disney+ is also working on a cheaper plan with ads due to arrive sometime in 2022.
At the same time, Netflix is testing changes that prevent account password sharing by charging extra for each household where an account is used. If the new limitations roll out everywhere, it could push many people to sign up for ad-supported individual plans… or simply stop paying for Netflix altogether.