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In a nutshell: Last week’s news that Disney+ would be introducing a cheaper, ad-supported tier has left us with several questions, including whether rival Netflix will do the same. Now, we have the answer: no, at least not anytime soon.
Disney didn’t reveal too many details about its ad-supported tier that's set to arrive on its streaming service later this year. The company never announced any pricing, but it will presumably offer a cheaper alternative to its $7.99 per month / $79.99 per year up-front cost; much like the Disney-owned Hulu, whose $12.99 per month subscription is cut almost in half to $6.99 if you can stand the advertisements and don’t mind missing out on 4K.
With others doing it, will the world’s biggest streamer, Netflix, also offer a cheaper, ad-supported tier for those who won’t or can’t pay its $9.99 per month Basic plan? CFO Spencer Neumann said it’s “not something that’s in our plans.”
“It’s hard for us to kind of ignore that others are doing it, but it now doesn’t make sense for us,” said Neumann, speaking at Morgan Stanley’s 2022 Technology, Media & Telecom Conference (via Variety)
That might sound quite definite, but Neumann hinted that Netflix wouldn’t be ruling out the idea permanently. “We have a really nice scalable subscription model, and again, never say never, but it’s not in our plan,” he added.
With Paramount+, Peacock, Hulu, and soon Disney+ offering ad-supported tiers, it seems Netflix will be the only top streamer without such an option.
January saw Netflix increase its prices for all US users, and it lost a quarter of its value a few weeks later due to slowing subscriber growth. But while an ad-supported tier sounds like it could make sense, don’t expect to see one in the near future.