Opinion: Don’t pay for Netflix if you see ads

Ten years ago, streaming services offered a new way to watch shows on demand at an affordable price. During that time, many had cable subscriptions that would cost an average of $25.40 per month for basic service, while streaming services cost around $10 per month. The perks of streaming were always on demand and no ads.

On Oct. 13th, Netflix announced a new basic plan starting at $6.99 monthly. The plan will include the same features with the expectations of only one screen at a time, low quality, no downloads, and the introduction of ads. Netflix says ads will be 15 to 30 seconds long.

Before, Netflix was known as an ad-free and affordable streaming service. In 2012, the only streaming services were Netflix and Hulu. Today, the streaming industry has more competition from other companies, and those companies have their content to promote.

Netflix lost 1.2 million subscribers in the first two quarters of 2022, then gained 2.4 million in the third quarter. In addition, the basic plan with ads is Netflix’s most affordable plan in its history. In 2010, the standard plan was $7.99 but included HD and two screens simultaneously, which was Netflix’s most affordable plan.

The new ad plan is still expensive and doesn’t offer much compared to the standard plan. You’re still paying for ads and not getting good quality. It’s Netflix’s most affordable plan, but not the most affordable. Consumers don’t like ads. They see the same ads more than four times per episode. This will get consumers to look away, not pay attention to the content, and move on to something else.

Today, streaming services are trying to maintain subscribers while maintaining low prices. The issue with Netflix is that streaming services like Peacock offer a free plan with ads with only some content available. On the other hand, Peacock and Discovery+ offer a $4.99 plan with ads that include all the service’s content.

Another issue is that Netflix doesn’t own all the content on its service, compared to HBO Max, Apple TV+ and Disney+. All the new streaming services have started creating shows and movies exclusively for the service. Apple TV+ began the service from scratch and only offered Apple Originals.

I see Netflix offering its own shows only to the service in the future. To jump-start, Netflix should offer a “Netflix Originals Plan” where customers can pay only to see Netflix Originals with no ads. The plan should cost $6.99 to compete with the Apple TV+ $6.99 plan and include all the features from the standard plan. The money Netflix makes will go towards Netflix only. If Netflix still wants an ad-supported plan, it needs to be less than $4.99 per month. This price point will compete with the other services.

Netflix makes good shows and looking at the future, customers will subscribe to a service if they see it as worth their money. I know people subscribe and unsubscribe to a service when they are not using it or are not interested. For Netflix and other streaming services, keeping subscribers by always having content to watch is essential. Netflix has proven they can make good shows and movies, like “Stranger Things”, “The Crown” and “Elite”. It needs to look at the future of streaming and make it affordable for consumers.