Earlier this year, Netflix confirmed that a cheaper ad-supported plan is coming in 2023. And while at first it didn’t sound too bad and could be great for those on a budget, we’re slowly getting more details, and it’s not looking good.
Apparently, those who opt for the cheaper ad tier won’t have access to every movie and show currently on the platform. It’ll be a watered-down version with less content.
During the Netflix second-quarter earnings call, co-CEO Ted Sarandos casually confirmed that the streamer’s upcoming ad-supported tier wouldn’t have all its content at launch. He then mentioned content licensing with studios and a few other hurdles, but either way, the ad-supported version sounds a little worse.
Later in the interview, Sarandos said, “if we launched the product today, the members in the ad tier would have a great experience. We will clear some additional content, but certainly not all of it, but we don’t think it’s a material holdback to the business.”
I don’t know about you guys, but being unable to access all of the content certainly sounds like a holdback for me. The entire point of paying a little less but getting shown ads is to save money—not miss out on shows and movies.
Netflix CFO Spencer Neumann mentioned the possibility of supplementing those losses with something else, but for now, we don’t have any information regarding what that would entail. It’s also unclear if the company plans to add the content later after the ad tier arrives, so we’ll have to wait and see.
Either way, the upcoming tier wouldn’t be great if you couldn’t watch hit shows like Peaky Blinders or Bridgerton, but we’re assuming it will include most of Netflix’s own shows. It’s all the additional content it bought or licensed we’ll need to worry about.
When the cheaper Netflix ad-supported option arrives in 2023, we’ll have to look at what’s missing to see if it’s still worth the subscription fee.