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57% of Netflix subscribers would ditch the service if it introduced ads, study suggests

A new study has found that UK consumers could vote with their wallets and leave if streaming service Netflix adds advertisements to the service.

The study was conducted in the UK by firm Audience Project and it shows that while the British might have a high tolerance for queuing and huge cups of tea, there’s a much lower tolerance for commercials in their subscription-based streaming services.

The study, coming via Net Imperative (currently offline, so try this Google cache link), claims that 57 percent of subscribers in the UK would cancel their Netflix service is commercials were added to the platform. This study was only conducted with UK subscribers, but it’s easy to imagine the opinion is broadly the same throughout many of Netflix’s markets as consumers have become conditioned to accept that paid-for streaming should be commercial-free.

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This could potentially be a problem that Netflix has brought on itself, too. As the biggest competitor in the home streaming market, Netflix pioneered online streaming around the world back in the 00’s by adding a streaming tier to its DVD rental service, during which they successfully cornered the market and set the parameters that many of the streaming systems now like Amazon Prime Video, Mubi, Now TV and others, have adopted as a given.

In short, Netflix now cannot put ad breaks into its streaming service because Netflix has taught everyone that streaming should be ad free.

Nonetheless, the entertainment outfit has been testing the waters regardless, with a few experiments in advertising their own original and exclusive shows to customers before or after whatever they have actually chosen to watch. This doesn’t mean Netflix are definitely planning to bring in adverts at any stage in the process, but regardless, it appears if that do move that way they could face a mass exodus of users.

Speaking to someone familiar with Netflix, they claim it’s unlikely Netflix will shake things up quite this severely: “While I think it’s very unlikely they will make this sort of major change,” they said. “I do believe that the majority of people will remain with Netflix, ads or no ads. People are lazy when it comes to shopping around.”

We’ve reached out to Netflix for comment.

Would you keep your Netflix subscription if it brought in adverts? Why? Let us know on @TrustedReviews

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