Netflix is adding a cheaper subscription tier as early as November. The next tier will be supported by ads in an attempt to beat its biggest competitor, Disney+.
In Netflix’s recent partnership with Microsoft in July, the streaming platform now has met the tech requirements to support the new subscription tier. The next tier is scoped to be priced at $8 per month. The news comes after a report in May showed the streaming giant losing subscribers at an increasingly rapid pace.
Microsoft has reportedly begun requesting initial bids from potential ad buyers this week as part of the attempt to pull the release of the new subscription tier as forward as possible. Current subscribers will not encounter ads on release day due to being at a higher tier price, but Netflix has said to consider running ads in the middle of programs.
While there has been talk generated about the addition of ad-based subscriptions, the quick release has come as a surprise given the short timelike it has been under development. Netflix’s co-CEOs Ted Sarandos and Reed Hastings initially suggested that the option wouldn’t be available until 2023.
A spokesperson for Netflix has said the company has not made any decisions yet: “We are still in early days of deciding how to launch a lower priced, as-supported option and no decisions have been made.”
The likely reason behind the quick release is to keep up with competition. Paramount and Amazon Prime both currently have an ad-based option available, while Disney+ is expected to jump on the bandwagon with the goal of launching on 8 December.
It is too early in the game to tell which advertisers are expected to use the new service. Microsoft is hoping for “big bids” in an attempt to get Netflix’s revenue back on track.