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Netflix’s ad tier may ditch commercials for some content

Details on Netflix’s upcoming ad-supported tier are continuing to trickle through.

The latest is that folks claiming to have knowledge of the plans told Bloomberg that some content will escape ads, specifically original movies and original children’s content.

Original movies would likely play without ads during the early stages of release on the streaming service, with Netflix apparently likely to include them once the movie has been on the platform for a while, though the time period — whether days, weeks, or months — isn’t clear.

According to Bloomberg’s sources, Netflix is apparently set on excluding ads during the early stages of a movie’s release in an effort to placate “top filmmakers” who might not take kindly to the idea of their work being interrupted by commercials.

The report also noted that when it comes to children’s content, it could be more than just Netflix’s original offerings that escape ads, as some studios have licensed kids’ content to the streaming platform with the agreement that it will be free of ads.

This chimes with earlier reports suggesting that Netflix is currently trying to strike new deals with various studios to allow ads to be played with a broad range of their content on the ad tier. It’s thought that until it can reach agreements with those studios, some content is unlikely to be available on the ad tier when it launches in early 2023. However, Netflix Co-CEO and chief content officer Ted Sarandos insisted last month that the ad tier will, at launch, include “the vast majority” of the streaming platform’s content.

It also recently emerged that subscribers to the ad tier are unlikely to be able to download content for offline viewing, ensuring customers have an incentive to upgrade to one of the ad-free paid tiers, which offers the feature.

But as Bloomberg notes in its report, Netflix is still working through the details of its plan for its ad tier and so the specifics could change between now and when it launches.

Pricing has also yet to be revealed, though it seems likely that it will be cheaper than Netflix’s cheapest ad-free option, Basic, which costs $9.99 a month. However, there’s a chance it could follow in the footsteps of Disney+ by raising the cost of its Basic tier and offering its ad tier at $9.99 a month.

Disney+ is set to launch an ad tier on December 8, 2022. The monthly fee for the most basic service will be $8, pushing the current monthly fee of $8 for the ad-free tier to $11, or $110 per year.

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Trevor Mogg
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