New Study Asked Netflix Users To Choose Between Higher Prices And Commercials

christina applegate jen dead to me
(Image credit: netflix press)

Netflix has become one of the biggest entertainment empires on the planet, and it has done so in an extremely short span of time. Part of its success story can be sourced to giving customers quality exclusive series and movies, such as Christina Applegate's Dead to Me. But perhaps the biggest reason Netflix exploded is because it was one of the first completely commercial-free corners of entertainment, without any reliance on advertisers' dollars.

Over the years, Netflix has introduced a sequence of price hikes meant to balance the billions and billion of dollars that Netflix has borrowed to create its multitude of highly popular series. A new study asked users whether they would prefer to see commercials added to shows to offset higher prices, or if they'd rather pay more money to secure a more commercial-free existence. Perhaps unsurprisingly, way more people chose higher prices over ad breaks.

According to a recent survey sent out to random participants by the research firm DecisionData, a whopping 81% were mildly-to-strongly unhappy about Netflix's latest price hike that got rolled out, which was the largest one of the company's lifespan. That total isn't very shocking, either.

However, even with 81% of these people showcasing negative feelings about Netflix's sporadically asking for more money, that doesn't mean that all of those people will be willing to trade those costly bills for time spent watching commercials. Here's how the stats broke down:

Strongly Prefer Price Increase - 27%Slightly Prefer Price Increase - 47%Not Sure - 8%Slightly Prefer Commercials - 13%Strongly Prefer Commercials - 5%

Wowzers. A whopping 74% of those surveyed would prefer to cough up a few more dollars to Netflix rather than watching whatever ads Netflix dished out. Meanwhile, just 18% of people figured they'd be fine with a variety of ads as opposed to coughing up even more money to the highly lucrative (if not exactly prosperous) company.

3%, Occupied, Harlots, and Other Streaming Recommendations

Those stats, along with some comments made by streaming consumers, make it pretty clear that Netflix probably has very little reason to tap into the world of broadcast to produce any shows funded by advertiser dollars. Its commercial-avoiding nature is precisely why many have chosen to opt for the streaming lifestyle over cable and satellite plans. Granted it DID attempt to roll out ads in a test phase, but the attempt doesn't appear to have won over any of the bigwigs.

In comparison to Netflix's staid system, Hulu's ad-free plan is also extremely popular, though there are also millions who pay less money and thus have to endure the commercial breaks. (Amazon also boasts many users who adore its ad-free programming.) It would be really interesting to see how Netflix would fare with Hulu's split-tier pricing system for its ad-supported and commercial-free plans.

The study indicates that not many people would change plans if Netflix inevitably unveiled an ad-happy option. However, that that number could easily change if customers actually have the choice in their faces rather than as a hypothetical scenario. People make unexpected choices when it comes to their hard-earned moolah.

It must be noted, of course, that DecisionData's sample size for its survey was 1,105 people, so the results were just an average of what could be projected up on the entire population. So it doesn't exactly serve as a fully concrete report of global consumers' mindsets. That said, the way the numbers stacked would likely be reflected in other nearby areas.

We might as well concoct our own survey here to see how you guys feel about the pav vs. commercials debate.

In the meantime, though, you can check out everything that's coming to Netflix in the near future, which includes Stranger Things Season 3 and more.

This poll is no longer available.

Nick Venable
Assistant Managing Editor

Nick is a Cajun Country native, and is often asked why he doesn't sound like that's the case. His love for his wife and daughters is almost equaled by his love of gasp-for-breath laughter and gasp-for-breath horror. A lifetime spent in the vicinity of a television screen led to his current dream job, as well as his knowledge of too many TV themes and ad jingles.