Netflix doesn’t want you to sign up for its “Essential” ad-free offer

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A specialist in the streaming industry has noticed that Netflix promotes its “Essential” offer without ads as little as possible. The SVoD service seems to want to favor its ad-supported subscription, the latest launched to date. A way of doing things that goes against even the declarations of the management, but that also pushes to increase the number of subscribers to the service.

Source: Dima Solomin via Unsplash

Last November, Netflix launched the Essential subscription with ads: an offer of 5.99 euros per month to enjoy the movies and series available on the SVoD service at a lower cost. An offer that does not include all the content available on Netflix, however. The specialist in the streaming platform industry andres freedman I remarked that « Netflix is ​​trying to encourage potential subscribers to sign up for its basic tier with ads, rather than its traditional basic tier. “, written TechRadar (who saw the information thanks to Cord Busters).

The subtly modified Netflix subscription page

This invisibility of the Essential subscription without ads materializes with a discreet change on the Netflix subscription page, when the service shows the various subscription proposals: there are the offers ” essential with advertising », « Standard ” as well as ” Premium “, but the offer is not mentioned” Essential ».

The basic offers that are shown on Netflix // Source: Frandroid

Actually, it is now necessary to go down the page a little bit to the line ” Do you want more options? See all offers. Three euros separate the two Essential offers (with and without advertising). The most expensive adds the possibility of downloading movies and series to be able to watch them without an Internet connection. Avoid five minutes of advertising for every hour of content watched on Netflix. As for the number of screens that can be used simultaneously, it is the same: only one.

The real list of Netflix subscriptions // Source: Frandroid
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Why Netflix makes your Essential subscription invisible without ads

Before the arrival of the Essential subscription with ads, the Essential formula only offered a resolution of 480p: if on a smartphone the video quality could be sufficient (and still), on a TV it was clearly insufficient. Fortunately, since the announcements hit the platform, the resolution has increased to 720p (on both Essential subscriptions).

Source: Bastian Riccardi on Unsplash

While you might think that most users gravitate toward the Standard or Premium offerings for higher resolution and more concurrent displays, this isn’t necessarily the case. To TechRadar« Due to the current cost of living crisis, consumers have to make important decisions about how to spend their money. “. On the other hand, one of the reasons for the success of SVoD platforms is the interruption of extended commercials on linear television. What’s more, in one of our surveys, 65% of you did not want to pay for a Netflix subscription anymore cheap, but with advertising.

Given this, we can consider that the Netflix Essential offer is rather a good plan for certain Internet users, since it can offer a balance between access to Netflix and the absence of advertising. On the other hand, Netflix is ​​precisely interested in promoting its cheapest formula, to convince the largest possible number of potential customers.

A way of doing things that goes against Netflix’s statements

As noted TechRadar« The move also goes against what Netflix’s management team has told its own shareholders. Netflix’s chief product officer had said that the platform would adopt a ” consumer focus » : « As we said before, we don’t really try to steer our members towards one subscription or another. […] We’re trying to take a consumer-friendly approach and allow them to find the plan that’s right for them… And we really think it’s going to be a pro-consumer model that’s going to be more appealing, that’s going to attract more members because the consumer price is low. »

Source: Twenty Views via Unsplash

Comments given after the announcement of a net increase of 2.4 million subscribers in the third quarter of 2022, good news for the service which had suffered a heavy loss of subscribers at the beginning of last year. Additionally, Netflix’s ad-supported subscription remains rather unpopular: according to research firm Antenna, ” only 9% of new US subscribers signed up for this particular plan in the four months since its launch “. However, Netflix remains optimistic about the success of its latest subscription and expects an increase in the coming months.

We can think that Netflix would have every interest in boosting its offer with ads to satisfy its shareholders. By highlighting its cheaper formula, the platform could win over more potential customers than by highlighting the basic Essential subscription. Enough to increase your number of subscribers and attract shareholders. Another method of the streaming giant: apply sanctions to the exchange of passwords to end this phenomenon. Regarding the economic results, a method was already applied last year: the increase in the price of Netflix subscriptions.

A strategy that seems to pay off, at least in France

Some days ago, GNT broadcast a barometer from the firm NPA Conseil with Harris Interactive that concluded that of the 1.4 million Netflix subscribers in France, subscribers ” in the Essential ad-supported package would account for 13.7% of Netflix’s subscriber base “. Over it, ” Of the Ad Essentials subscribers, 62% would be new customers, while 38% were already subscribed to another Netflix package. ».

The Netflix app open on an Android smartphone // Source: Frandroid

If on the other side of the Atlantic the formula struggles to convince, it seems to work much better in France, especially for an offer launched a few months ago. Furthermore, these ad-supported package subscribers represent no less than 90% of new Netflix subscribers in France.

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