Netflix could launch an advertising-supported option by the end of 2022 according to reports.
The New York Times suggests the company could introduce a lower-cost AVoD version in the final three months of 2022.
The report says Netflix’s executives sent a note to employees stating its plans. “Yes, it’s fast and ambitious and it will require some trade-offs,” the note reportedly said.
“Every major streaming company excluding Apple has announced an ad-supported service. For good reason, people want lower-priced options.”
The launch plans are much earlier than the company had previously indicated. Last month, co-CEO Reed Hastings told investors the company expected to look at what an ad-supported platform would look like “over the next year or two”.
“I don’t think we have a lot of doubt that [the ad model] works,” added Hastings, citing Hulu and HBO Max as well as Disney Plus’s plans to launch an AVoD platform. “I’m sure we’ll just get in and figure it out — as opposed to test it and maybe do it or not do it.”
The possibility of a cheaper platform comes at a time when subscribers, particularly in the UK, are evaluating how much they spend on streaming services. In a recent report, Kantar said Great Britain’s current cost of living crises has led to a fall in the number of households subscribing to at least one streaming service.
According to the company’s latest research, 16.9 million or 58 per cent of GB households now have at least one paid subscription, down by 215,000, quarter-on-quarter.
In its recent Q1 report, Netflix revealed it had lost 200,000 global subscribers, and expects to lose around 2 million more in Q2 2022.