This past October when I wrote about how Netflix has asked users to trade their dignity to save a few bucks with its new ‘Basic with Ads’ plan, I got a few comments that shed light on the fact that such an offer wasn’t all bad for all people. I get that now. If you’re on a budget, you may find yourself okay with watching a few ads in order to still access the large Netflix library of content.
I and others like me, who would never dream of paying a company money in order to be inundated with advertisements when previously we paid for exactly the opposite were appalled at the introduction of the new subscription plan in the first place. Initially, it had a slow start with just nine percent of subscribers taking to the ad-supported tier.
According to Android Police, a discussion that they had with Jeremi Gorman, the Netflix President of Worldwide Advertising, this new plan has been successful enough to keep doing. Oh, joy. While he didn’t provide any detailed statistics, and while I seriously doubt enough people signed up and opened their wallets to watch dish detergent and car ads in between their Stranger Things episodes, I do believe that they’re playing the long game.
With less content than the basic plan without ads, fewer markets for availability (which are currently not expanding), and fewer users, it’s clear that recouping its costs through ad partners is the future that Netflix sees in its crystal ball. Similar to how game publishers are fully embracing NFTs even as consumers are yelling about how they want nothing to do with them, ads in streaming services look as though they’re here to stay.
You could simply say that those of us who oppose such a strategy should just not pay for it and move on, but that’s really missing the point entirely. As bizarre as it is to say, it’s true – we’ve been slowly tricked into willingly lining the pockets of corporations for less in value and more inconvenience. Streaming services are just cable moved to the modern age, and it’s getting out of hand. It’s truly a slippery slope if you think about it. What’s the next step, having no ad-free tiers and upping the prices? Though there will always be those who succumb to it and sacrifice quality for availability (which I understand and respect given the variety of circumstances), I don’t believe that most people want this, myself included.