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Netflix’s new ad tier starts slowly in the US

Data from US research firm Antenna suggests that Netflix has made a slow start with its new ad-funded tier, the snappily-titled Netflix ‘Basic With Ads’. According to Antenna, which released its finding over the festive holidays, only 9% of US sign-ups in November were to Basic with Ads, making it the least popular of four options.

The sign ups were a mix of new customers and Netflix customers migrating from other tiers – but the latter group was a relatively small number. According to Antenna, just 0.1% of Netflix’s existing US subscribers switched to the new offering. Of those that did, most seem to have moved over from the company’s standard and premium tiers.

Antenna compared Netflix’s ad tier launch with that of HBO Max, which kickstarted its own ad tier in June. At that time, the HBO Max ad tier made up 15% of new sign-ups. It also saw a bigger switching rate. Looking at the current situation, Antenna estimates that around 21% of HBO Max subscribers in the US are now on the ad tier.

One possible reason why the HBO Max tier has seen faster initial pick up of its ad tier than Netflix is that parent company Warner Bros Discovery has many more channels through which to promote the launch of new product offerings.

As yet there is no information on how Netflix’s ad tier has been received in the other markets where it is available, which include the UK, France, Germany and Italy.

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