During its quarterly earnings report, where it revealed its first drop in global subscribers in a decade, Netflix said it is exploring plans that include ads for a lower price.
Although Co-CEO Reed Hastings said an ad-supported plan is still a year or two away, it’s a moment Netflix subscribers might dread. One of the biggest appeals of Netflix is watching favorite TV shows or movies without a single commercial interruption.
Netflix did not reveal details on what plans would look like once an ad-supported option is available, or how much it might cost.
But other services might provide a glimpse at how new Netflix plans could function. Hulu, for example, has long offered ad-backed and ad-free plans.
Hulu has a $6.99-a-month plan with ads and a $12.99-a-month option without the ads.
HBO Max offers similar plans, with a $9.99-a-month subscription with ads and one for $14.99 that strips ads but supports features like offline downloads. Fellow streaming service Peacock provides ad-free and ad-supported subscriptions, too.
Last month, Disney announced it would introduce an ad-supported version of Disney+ this year but didn’t provide information on prices.
Currently, Netflix offers three plans: a basic plan for $9.99, a standard plan – its most popular – to $15.49, and a premium plan for $19.99. The big question for Netflix is how much an ad-backed subscription will cost.