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If you binge-watch, Netflix will reward you by removing some ads

Published Nov 1st, 2023 11:26AM EDT
Netflix logo.
Image: Netflix

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Netflix’s ad-supported plan has been around for a year now, and the company has a new way to reward users on that tier if they watch a heck of a lot of Netflix.

In a blog post, the company announced that it is going to be rolling out some new features for advertisers on the streaming service, including a new system that will skip some ads if subscribers to the ad-supported plan binge-watch a television show.

According to Amy Reinhard, Netflix’s president of Advertising, for users who watch at least three episodes of a series in a row, the fourth episode will be delivered to them ad-free. I wonder if Netflix found that this has been a point of issue with users on the ad-free plan and the company is seeing viewership drop off after three ad-filled episodes compared to those on the ad-free plan?

Starting in Q1 2024, our advertisers globally will be able to utilize our new binge ad (wt) format that taps into the viewing behavior of watching multiple episodes in a row. After watching three consecutive episodes, members will be presented with a fourth episode ad-free. Inearly 2024, we will also launch the ability to showcase QR codes in advertising creative running on Netflix in the US. 

The Fall of the House of Users on Netflix
Carla Gugino as Verna in episode 102 of “The Fall of the House of Usher.” Image source: Eike Schroter/Netflix

The company also announced that it is expanding its Sponsorships program, which allows advertisers to integrate their products or brands into movies or shows on the streaming service. Netflix says that it will be showcasing sponsors in the upcoming game show Squid Game: The Challenge and the last season of The Crown, but it did not go into detail about which brands will be involved or how this integration will work.

  • Moment Sponsorships will feature cultural moments for advertisers to tap into like local holidays. They will become available at the end of this year in the US and will roll out globally in 2024. 
  • On November 14, T-Mobile, Nespresso, and others will be the presenting Live Sponsors for Netflix’s newest live sports event, The Netflix Cup.

Reinhard also revealed that the company’s ad-supported plan has now surpassed 15 million global monthly active users. Netflix is currently estimated to have well over 200 million subscribers, so its ad-supported customers still represent a smaller share of its users, but that number is likely to continue to grow as the company prices customers out of the ad-free plan which recently went through another price hike.

The current breakdown of pricing for Netflix is:

  • Standard with ads*: $6.99 / month
  • Standard: $15.49 / month (extra member slots can be added for $7.99 each / month)
  • Premium: $22.99 / month (extra member slots can be added for $7.99 each / month)

Of course, you’ll need to upgrade to the Premium plan if you want to watch content in 4K and HDR, something that is truly insane to be put at a premium in 2023 — but here we are. That aside, you can tell that this latest move by the company is another way for it to entice ad-free customers to switch over to the ad-free plan — where Netflix makes the real money.

It appears that, despite all of our best efforts, we are slowly sliding back into a world where television is dominated by advertising, just like it was when all of us were stuck with cable. While it seems that we’ll, hopefully, always have the option to subscribe to a version of a streaming service that gets rid of ads, doing so is going to get so expensive that — for many — that won’t really be a viable decision.

Joe Wituschek Tech News Contributor

Joe Wituschek is a Tech News Contributor for BGR.

With expertise in tech that spans over 10 years, Joe covers the technology industry's breaking news, opinion pieces and reviews.