Netflix Exec Reveals Cheaper Ad-Based Subscription Won't Actually Have Access To All Of Its Shows, But What About Stranger Things?

Eleven in underground bunker in Stranger Things
(Image credit: Netflix)

Netflix is in the process of making a major change that will have a significant impact on its subscribers. The streaming platform is planning to add commercials as part of a cheaper ad-based subscription service. Since making the announcement in April, the company has dropped additional details on the move. This includes the fact that it’s formed a partnership with fellow monolithic corporation Microsoft to make it happen. In a surprising turn of events though, one of the platform's high-ranking executives has revealed that not all of the service’s shows will be accessible on the membership tier. So what does that mean for hit series like Stranger Things?

The higher-ups at the entertainment corporation discussed plans for the ad-based service during the company’s Q2 earnings interview. Co-CEO and Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos was among those to speak out on plans for the new subscription plan. During that chat, he explained that certain shows won’t be available, as there are some conversations that still need to happen:

Today, the vast majority of what people watch on Netflix, we could include in the ad supported tier today. There are some things that [would not be included] that we are in conversation with the studios on, but if we launched the product today, the members in the ad tier would have a great experience. And we will clear some additional content, but certainly not all of it.

A number of shows on the platform are licensed out from a number of other entertainment entities. Warner Bros. Television and Sony Pictures TV are only a couple of the studios that have dealings with the mega streamer. Such negotiations would affect some original content like Russian Doll (distributed by NBCUniversal) and Cobra Kai (distributed by the aforementioned Sony) Older shows that are carried by the service would also be subject to such negotiations. 

While we can’t say for sure, one would think that a show like Stranger Things would be in the clear. That production has mostly been crafted within the confines of Netflix itself. With that, it might be safe to assume that those who join the upcoming subscription tier will be able enter Hawkins, Indiana and get all the feels from Season 4 finale. But then again, there’s always a chance that things could shake out differently.

It’s honestly still interesting that the company is now choosing to utilize commercials, considering its stance over the years. Netflix had long been against using ads, with execs explaining that such a method didn’t seem effective for their business model. Plus, data has shown that while their customers don’t care for price hikes, they’re not keen on seeing commercials. However, COO Greg Peters, who broke the news of the new ad-based tier, said earlier this year that the company is devoted to giving consumers. With that, the team is moving full steam ahead with this plan. 

There are still plenty of things to ponder when it comes to this new membership plan and its potential ramifications on the streamer. But hopefully, those looking to join at a more affordable price will indeed be greeted by Stranger Things and other top-tier series when they log in for the first time. 

If you’re eager to join now, be sure to grab yourself a Netflix subscription.

Erik Swann
Senior Content Producer

Erik Swann is a Senior Content Producer at CinemaBlend. He began working with the publication in 2020 when he was hired as Weekend Editor. Today, he continues to write, edit and handle social media responsibilities over the weekend. On weekdays, he also writes TV and movie-related news and helps out with editing and social media as needed. He graduated from the University of Maryland, where he received a degree in Broadcast Journalism. After shifting into multi-platform journalism, he started working as a freelance writer and editor before joining CB. Covers superheroes, sci-fi, comedy, and almost anything else in film and TV. He eats more pizza than the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.