Netflix could launch a cheaper, ad-supported tier in late 2022

Netflix could introduce a cheaper, ad-supported tier by the end of the year, according to a new report in The New York Times (opens in new tab).

While the pricing is unclear, an internal memo shared with the newspaper suggests that the aim was to launch the tier “in the final three months of the year.” That late 2022 window could also mark the moment where the streamer starts putting a stop to password sharing.

If true, it’s a short, sharp U-turn for Netflix. In March, Netflix CFO Spencer Neumann was adamant that it wouldn’t follow Disney’s lead in adding an ad-supported tier.

“It’s not like we have religion against advertising, to be clear,” Neumann said at Morgan Stanley’s Technology, Media, and Telecom conference (H/T (opens in new tab)). “We lean into consumer experience, consumer choice, and what’s great for our creators and storytellers. It’s not something that’s in our plans right now. We have a great model in the subscription business, it scales globally.”

After a sharp drop in subscribers – thought to be around 200,000 – the prospect was considered more openly during a quarterly earnings call.

On the topic of an ads-friendly plan, CEO Ted Hastings said that while he is against “the complexity of advertising” and prefers “the simplicity of subscription”, he is “a bigger fan of consumer choice”.

Before then, Netflix is rolling out some of its biggest hits. Chief among them is Stranger Things season 4, with the first half set to debut on May 27. The streamer has also announced its bumper summer movie line-up, including A-listers such as Chris Hemsworth and Jamie Foxx.

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