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Most of you would endure Netflix ads for a cheaper subscription

Published Jul 6th, 2019 2:07PM EDT
Image: Sascha Steinbach/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock

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For reasons that we’ve previously laid out here, those of you who subscribe to Netflix probably won’t see ads on the service anytime soon — and maybe even ever. Nevertheless, given Netflix’s status as the king of the streaming industry hill, this hypothetical and somewhat improbable scenario is debated and pondered a lot more often than you’d expect for something with such a slim chance of ever coming to pass.

In that earlier post, we noted a calculation from analysts at Nomura which estimates that Netflix could rake in $1 billion in extra revenue if it ever decided to force us to watch ads. And now, in a companion bit of insight that comes as the result of a new study, it seems as has been noted in the past that most of you would happily endure the presence of ads on Netflix if — IF — your subscription price was also cut.

The glass-half-empty part of that news, according to the results of the recent Hub Entertainment Research survey, is that almost a quarter of Netflix users say they would drop the service if it ever started running ads and if their subscription price stayed the same. That 23% loss would be equal to Netflix losing about 14 million subscribers from the 60 million subscriber base it had in the US during the first quarter. (You can check out the full results here from this survey of something that will never happen.)

The survey was conducted by polling 1,765 US TV watchers between the ages of 16 and 74 who watch at least 1 hour of TV every week and whose homes also have a broadband connection. Its results come at a time when advertising industry representatives have been going public with their supposed assumption that Netflix will have to change course and start embracing ads eventually (Not that these guys are biased in any way or salivating at the prospect of being involved in such a business shift, you understand).

At an industry panel in April, for example, Joshua Lowcock of the media agency UM declared that he “can’t imagine a world where Netflix will be ad-free forever.” Thankfully, the rest of us can.

Andy Meek Trending News Editor

Andy Meek is a reporter based in Memphis who has covered media, entertainment, and culture for over 20 years. His work has appeared in outlets including The Guardian, Forbes, and The Financial Times, and he’s written for BGR since 2015. Andy's coverage includes technology and entertainment, and he has a particular interest in all things streaming.

Over the years, he’s interviewed legendary figures in entertainment and tech that range from Stan Lee to John McAfee, Peter Thiel, and Reed Hastings.