Netflix CEO Clarifies A Misconception About Ads Coming To The Streaming Service

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(Image credit: Netflix)

Even TV lovers who haven’t yet made the decision to go all-in on streaming know one pretty big thing about it: Netflix is the granddaddy of our current streaming wars. And, many, many people (around the world) rely on their Netflix subscriptions so that they can watch the nearly innumerable shows on Netflix (not to mention the best movies on Netflix). This means that most subscribers were surprised when the service announced, earlier this year, that it was working on bringing ads to the streaming giant for the first time…ever. Now, though, co-CEO Ted Sarandos has clarified a big misconception about commercials on Netflix.

What Did Ted Sarandos Have To Say About The Ads Coming To Netflix?

While millions of people likely remember (not so fondly, possibly) getting and then returning those flimsy red Netflix envelopes in the mail, the company has become much better known and beloved for what it’s brought to streaming. For its entire existence as a streamer so far, Netflix has been ad-free at every price tier, but with that changing in the near-ish future, Ted Sarandos, who spoke at the Cannes Lions advertising festival recently (via The Hollywood Reporter) wanted to make an aspect of this plan crystal clear for subscribers, and said:

We are adding an ad tier; we’re not adding ads to Netflix as you know it today. We’re adding an ad tier for folks who say, ‘Hey, I want a lower price and I’ll watch ads.'

Ahhhhh! Do we all get it now? Look, I completely understand the disappointment and / or panic that must have washed over a lot of subscribers when they heard that ads were about to become a thing on Netflix. Right now, there are three subscription tiers priced at $9.99, $15.49, and $19.99. Can you imagine paying for any streaming service, spending years without ads and then suddenly having to deal with commercials before, during, or after your binge of Stranger Things, or Love Is Blind? It would be infuriating! And, the last thing Netflix wants to do right now is piss off any subscribers.

The past several years have seen a number of viewers complain about their favorite shows being cancelled before the stories came to a real conclusion. Lots of those subscribers would then go on to cancel Netflix (like the fans of the dearly departed sci-fi series, The OA, who called for mass cancellations over losing the drama). But, also, Netflix saw a much larger downturn in subscribers earlier this year, right before it was decided that creating an ad-supported price tier for people who don’t mind commercials would be a good idea.

Netflix reported that it lost around 200,000 subscribers in late April, which led the company’s stock prices to tumble. On top of that, many folks have also been pissed with the streamer for how it laid off a number of employees recently. So, I can certainly see how making this particular move with a new ad-based tier would be the best move for Netflix to, possibly, regain some subscribers while also not annoying its current viewers. Luckily, non of us will have to deal with commercials on Netflix if we don't want to.

Adrienne Jones
Senior Content Creator

Yennefer's apprentice, Gilmore Girl; will Vulcan nerve pinch pretty much anyone if prompted with cheese...Yes, even Jamie Fraser.