Netflix will launch an ad-supported tier next month, offering viewers a cheaper way to watch their shows as long as they’re willing to put up with commercial interruptions.
The streaming giant is adding a £4.99 plan to their current pricing list. The basic package with adverts is around 30% cheaper than their current basic plan.
According to a statement from Netflix chief operating officer Greg Peters, there will be around four to five minutes of adverts during each hour of viewing, both before and during films and shows.
Ad-supported subscribers will also not be able to download shows and movies to watch when their devices are offline.
A “limited” amount of programming available on the commercial-free service won’t be on the ad-supported version because of licensing issues.
The ad-supported option is being introduced on 3 November, as Netflix battle to reverse a drop in subscribers.
It will also be rolled out in the US, Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Korea, Mexico and Spain.
Netflix will continue to offer three more expensive plans, the basic, the standard and the premium, which allow subscribers to view content on one, two and four supported devices respectively, and are all ad free.
After 15-years in business, Netflix took the decision to introduce an ad option six months ago after reporting its first loss in subscribers in more than a decade.
Their stock price had also drastically fallen over the past 11 months, and despite rallying following the new tier announcement, have still lost about two-thirds of their value since reaching their peak last November when the streaming service was still growing.
Through the first half of this year, Netflix lost 1.2 million subscribers, leaving it with nearly 221 million. Their latest subscriber figures are scheduled to be disclosed next week.
Long the front-runner in the streaming world, Netflix are now facing stiff competition from streaming rivals including Disney+, Amazon, HBO Max and Apple TV+.
Disney+ will be launching their own ad-supported version of their service in December.
Last month, Netflix announced that they will be signing up to the TV ratings agency Barb (Broadcasters’ Audience Research Board) from November.
Netflix previously self-selected viewing data they wished to share, highlighting the success of their biggest and most popular shows, including Stranger Things and Squid Game.
Their change in approach coincides with the launch of season five of royal drama The Crown, which is likely to make a positive impact on Barb’s ratings during the first weeks.