The price of Netflix is going way down … if you’re willing to watch commercials. When the streaming service revealed that it’s prepping an advertising-supported option for subscribers, it didn’t reveal how much it will cost. The price has now leaked out, and it might be 30% to 55% below the current cost.
The new option could debut before the end of 2022.
Netflix ads trade savings for hassle
Netflix is the 500-pound gorilla of the streaming market, and it comes with a premium price: up to $20 a month. But its subscriber total dropped recently, and execs apparently think a lower-cost, ad-supported rate will bring a rush of fresh customers.
The monthly cost will range between $7 and $9, according to Bloomberg. That’s for four minutes of commercials per hour, including ones that interrupt the program.
How good a deal this will be depends on what video quality the advert-supported plan will offer. Currently, the Netflix basic plan lets subscribers watch content on one screen in non-HD quality for $10 per month, while the Standard plan with HD streaming runs $15.50. If the ad version offers HD quality, viewers will save 55%.
Making the $20 Premium plan with 4K streaming and the ability to watch content on up to four devices simultaneously into a ad-supported option seems unlikely.
An option not a requirement
When Netflix co-CEO Ted Sarandos first announced that commercials were coming to the streaming service, he made it clear they will be an option not forced on all subscribers. “We’re adding an ad tier; we’re not adding ads to Netflix as you know it today,” Sarandos said.
The service reportedly will start rolling out the new option in the fourth quarter of 2022. Adverting-supported Netflix might not be available everywhere until 2023.
It’ll join many other rival services with the same option. Hulu has long offered a lower-cost, ad-supported option. More people use that $7-per-month version than pay the full $13-per-month price to avoid the commercials, according to Hulu.
It’s owned by the same company as Disney+, which started out ad-free and recently changed course by announcing a commercial-supported tier.
NBC’s Peacock is another streaming service that gives subscribers a break if they watch more ads. An ad-supported plan costs $5. Alternatively, viewers can pay twice that to get fewer ads.
Apple TV+ is commercial-free, and you can get 3 free months
Apple TV+ does not include commercials — never has, and probably never will. The only option to watch Apple’s streaming service is by paying full price, buying Apple hardware that comes with a free trial or by getting an Apple One services bundle. That said, the cost is just $4.99 a month, the same or lower than many rival ad-supported plans.
Deal alert: For a limited time, new and returning subscribers can get three free months of Apple TV+ from Best Buy.