In this article, we are going to be covering the Netflix ad supported plan, which is coming on November 1st and it reminds us of the TV that was the standard 20 years ago.
The golden age of streaming has come to an end. To be clear, this isn’t a critique of the episodes and films available on streaming services. Rather, it’s a collective sigh of relief in reaction to the revelation today that Netflix will debut its long-rumored ad-supported service on November 1, beating Disney+’s own ad-supported service by approximately a month. To summarize, streaming appears to be more similar to terrestrial TV than ever before.
Netflix ad supported plan is almost here
As media firms amalgamated and consolidated their “brands” and services during the last several years, it became clear to consumers that the Big Three of TV—NBC, CBS, and ABC—would simply be replaced by a new Big Three. It might have been Netflix, HBO Max, and Disney+, or it could have been Amazon Prime, Hulu, and Apple TV+. The streaming behemoths continue to battle for supremacy, but the fundamental reality remains: the majority of users obtain their material from some constellation of streamers. Add to it the fact that those legacy networks now have their own services, such as Peacock and Paramount+, and old is new again.
This is not the future that was promised to us. When Netflix first arrived on the scene, their claim to fame was that they were “disruptors,” coming to shake up Hollywood by offering consumers what they wanted when they wanted it. Consumers banded together to “cut the cord” and abandon cable packages forever in order to watch premium TV on the internet. It was successful. Streaming has taken off. Then, when competition increased and customers realized they were spending almost as much money on internet and streaming subscriptions as they did on cable, they demanded new, more inexpensive choices. The only way to do so—an old story—was for advertising to finance their products.
As Netflix’s stock price and subscriber numbers have fallen in the last year, the company has rushed to establish an ad-supported strategy in order to gain consumers and money. During a press conference today to announce the new $6.99-per-month package, Netflix CEO Greg Peters said, “We built Basic with Ads in six months.” When it launches—first in Canada and Mexico, followed by the United States, the United Kingdom, and other territories later in the month—it will surpass Disney+’s December 8 launch of its ad-supported plan for $7.99 per month.
During the call, Peters stated that the firm was not “anchoring” its debut date or pricing around the competition, but the timing does imply a significant shift, the end of streaming as we know it.
Think of it as a self-fulfilling prophesy. Netflix CEO Reed Hastings forecast the collapse of linear television in the “next five to ten years” back in July. What he didn’t mention was that Netflix and other streaming services will simply take its place. The accords differ slightly—ads on streaming are fewer than on network TV; network TV is free—but with each, streaming looks more like television from 50 years ago. Linear television may be coming to an end, but its successor isn’t much more than meets the eye.
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