A potential downside to Netflix’s upcoming ad-supported tier goes beyond the obvious one of having your shows interrupted by ads. Members on this basic plan might not have access to offline viewing, one of the streaming service’s more helpful features.
Developer Steve Moser made the discovery when he spotted code in the Netflix iPhone app that appeared to indicate that the streamer would prevent consumers from downloading content for offline viewing.
The code itself read, “Downloads available on all plans except Netflix with adverts.” Furthermore, it implied that customers would not be allowed to avoid advertisements and instead be directed to customize their ad experience.
The story was first reported by Bloomberg, which cited research by Moser and others that were also posted on the developer’s personal blog. Netflix was unwilling to comment on whether or not the downloads function would be included in the final release.
No decisions have been taken at this time, however, we are in the very early stages of planning how to introduce a cheaper, ad-supported option. A representative from Netflix told us, “At this time, all of this is simply speculation.”
While the streaming giant is still in the process of putting up the ad-supported tier and aims to launch in early 2023, this discovery may give Netflix subscribers a taste of what’s to come in the form of a more affordable streaming option.
It’s possible that removing the download feature from the ad-supported service was done on purpose to discourage users from upgrading. Customers that need this function frequently, such as frequent fliers, would be forced to upgrade to more expensive plans if it were removed.
In making this decision, Netflix would not be alone. The download feature is also typically absent from ad-supported streaming services like HBO Max, Peacock, and others. Only paid members to have access to this feature.
However, the problem could be more complex than simply trying to increase Netflix’s bottom line.
Technical hurdles exist in ensuring accurate ad attribution for offline materials. Hulu, for instance, introduced offline watching for their streaming service some years after the fact. After its competitors, Netflix and Amazon had already implemented the change, it didn’t do so until 2019.
Ad attribution concerns certainly necessitated more engineering resources, though the corporation never provided an official explanation for the delay. A lack of download access persists on the ad-supported tier.
As the prevalence of internet access improves, Hulu may have questioned whether implementing this function was necessary.
In addition to being a relative newcomer to the advertising industry as a whole, Netflix is also using a third party, Microsoft, to run its ad-supported strategy. This means it may have little say in how much of an offline mode it can provide.
The new cheap tier may have other flaws besides the elimination of downloads. The company has announced that several television shows and movies will be unavailable in the ad-supported version initially.
Netflix’s new ad-supported service is scheduled to debut in early 2023. The company has not yet decided on a final price.
Additional Ad Information
Netflix’s App Has Further Subtle References to Its Ad Growth, Such as Material About Assisting the Streaming Service in Personalising Advertisements. “now, Let’s Set up Your Ad Experience,” Reads One Such Message.
To Provide You With The Most Pertinent Netflix Advertisements, We Just Require a Few Pieces of Information. We Assure You, It Will Go Very Quickly.
When Reporting Second-Quarter Profits, Netflix Said the Ad-Supported Strategy Would Roll out To “a Number of Areas Where Advertising Spend Is High,” Presumably Including the United States.
In The Same Month, Netflix and Microsoft Announced a Partnership that Will Become Microsoft the Streaming Service’s Sole Advertising Partner. for The Time Being, at Least, Coo and Cpo Greg Peters Confirmed that Microsoft Will Have the Sole Rights to Sell Netflix Commercials.
Our Long-Term Goal Is to Develop an Advertising Model that Is More Effective for Our Advertising Partners, While Also Being More Frictionless and Relevant to Our Consumers.
In Its Q2 Earnings Statement, Netflix Wrote, “while It Will Take Some Time to Expand Our Member Base for The Ad Tier and The Accompanying Ad Revenues, We Think Advertising Can Enable Considerable Incremental Membership (via Reduced Rates) and Profit Growth (through Ad Revenues).
Analysts Predict that Netflix’s Ad-Supported Tier Won’t Hurt the Company’s Current Customer Base, and May Even Help It Grow Overall Subscribers and Ad Income.
During an Earnings Call for The Second Quarter, Netflix’s Cfo, Tom Peters, Said the Company Expects the Ad-Supported Plan’s Per-Subscriber Economics to Be “neutral” with Or Better than What It Sees with Traditional Customers.
The Streaming Service, Which Has Avoided Ads for Years, Is Preparing to Launch an Ad-Supported Tier in The First Quarter of 2019.
The Firm Has Remained Silent so Far. However, Since the Release of The Service Is Still a Few Months Away, Netflix May Not Have Finished Its Preparations and May Opt for A Different Strategy.