The streaming story of 2022 might be the incursion of advertisements permeating our viewing enjoyment on many of the major streaming services.
Most notable among those is Netflix, which reversed a long-held company tenet when introducing Netflix Basic with Ads this autumn. Now the company’s CEO says there’ll be more ad-based offerings over time, alongside the new £4.99 option, which limits users to 720p resolution, minus support for offline-downloads.
Sign up for Disney+
Disney+ offers access to loads of original shows like The Mandalorian and Hawkeye, classic films and content from big brands like Star Wars, Marvel and Pixar.
- £7.99 a month
“We have multiple tiers today, so it’s likely we’ll have multiple ad tiers over time, but nothing to talk about yet,” Sarandos said (via CNBC). “And the product itself will evolve, I suspect, pretty dramatically, but slowly, gradually.”
What else could Netflix add? Well it’s plausible users could offer ad-based versions of the tiers that support multiple displays, offline downloads and even the 4K HDR content. It’s also possible it could launch a tier with less ads than the 30-second commercial spots that amount to an average of four-minutes per hour.
Sarandos also said he “was wrong” about whether Netflix with ads could be successful. He added: “I was wrong about that. Hulu proved you could do that at scale and offer customers lower prices. We did switch on that. I wish we had flipped a few years earlier on that, but we’ll catch up.”
The comments came just before Disney+ launched its own ad-supported offering in the United States. The Disney+ Basic tier is $7.99 a month, which is what the regular offering did cost.
The standard subscription is now labelled “Premium” with no other change in the experience and is now $10.99 a month. The choice for Disney+ subscribers is clear: pay $3 a month more for the experience or put up with ads.
The tier will launch in the UK next year.