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Netflix says a cheaper ad-supported plan is in the works

It’s all to offset subscriber churn and password sharing.

netflix logo on blurred background
Image: KnowTechie

UPDATE 5/10/2022 11:21 AM ET: In a recent note to employees, Netflix says they’re fast-tracking its ad-supported tier and could release it in the final three months of the year. The original story follows below.

Netflix is working on bringing ad-supported, cheaper plans to its streaming service. That’s according to CEO Reed Hastings, speaking during the first quarterly earnings call on Tuesday.

That’s a big shift for the company, which has long resisted any advertising on its service. Thankfully, this new plan isn’t happening anytime soon.

Hastings said the change will happen gradually, with the next year or two being used to test out options. Here’s what he said on the recent earnings call:

Those who have followed Netflix know that I have been against the complexity of advertising, and a big fan of the simplicity of subscription,” Hastings said in an earnings call. “But as much as I am a fan of that, I am a bigger fan of consumer choice. And allowing consumers who would like to have a lower price, and are advertising-tolerant, get what they want, makes a lot of sense – Reed Hastings, Netflix CEO

READ MORE: Netflix is losing a ton of long-time subscribers

Netflix lost a staggering 200,000 subscribers worldwide in its first quarter. The main reason? Netflix is currently winding down operations in Russia as a response to its invasion of Ukraine; a loss of 700,000 paying subscribers.

That’s not the only issue. Netflix increased its spending on content, which lead to a corresponding increase in subscriber fees.

Additionally, the service also estimates that over 100 million households are freeloading off of other people’s accounts, with account sharing running rampant. That explains the latest trials on adding non-household users for a modest fee.

READ MORE: Netflix confirms plans to launch an ad-supported tier

netflix password sharing
Image: DOP3Sweet / Twitter

READ MORE: Netflix says 100 million accounts share passwords, but not for long

Netflix adding an ad-supported tier could keep subscribers while providing a new revenue stream. It appears to be working for its competitors, like Disney, HBO, and Hulu.

The only worry we have is if UHD 4K content is going to be gated behind the higher pricing, or if Netflix will have two tiers of ad-supported content. So many questions, and not enough answers.

READ MORE: Netflix’s ad-supported tier reportedly removes downloads

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Maker, meme-r, and unabashed geek with nearly half a decade of blogging experience at KnowTechie, SlashGear and XDA Developers. If it runs on electricity (or even if it doesn't), Joe probably has one around his office somewhere, with particular focus in gadgetry and handheld gaming. Shoot him an email at

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