Netflix comes with a cheaper subscription including commercials. Once that subscription is available, you are faced with an important choice.
Continue reading after the announcement.
Advertising and free data
Although we watch less and less TV shows with mandatory commercial breaks, advertising is back in our streaming services. Sometimes we can pay for services so that we see fewer ads. YouTube Premium is the ultimate example of that. You can use it for free with regularly boycotted commercials, but if you pay monthly they just disappear.
But it’s also increasingly going the other way: pay less while you see more ads. It’s the latest option that Netflix is looking at and may offer by the end of this year. Not surprising, given that Netflix prices are very high and more and more people are leaving. There are a lot of good alternatives.
Disney Plus also has plans to launch a subscription with ads. In the US, this is already possible with HBO Max, Hulu, and other streaming services. Amazon Prime Video is already doing quite a bit in the Netherlands. Between episodes, trailers for other series will tease you.
But ad subscriptions will appear in other places, too. Consider a free phone subscription in exchange for ads on your smartphone. These commercials are worth a lot to advertisers, because you have to consider. American Moolah Mobile puts ads on the home screen of Android devices, in return you can buy calling minutes for example.
Attempts have also been made in the Netherlands. For example, in 2015, FreedomPop will come to our country with 200 free calling minutes, 500 text messages and 500MB of data, provided you watch ads. It didn’t work back then, but now technology has advanced further and people are more accustomed to eavesdropping on ads before they are allowed to continue.
If you have played a smartphone game, you are familiar with the concept. You can download the game for free, but every time you have to find an intersection that is too small to click away from the ad. Only then can you continue. Imagine getting this with everything you do on your smartphone. For example, seeing an ad before you can read a WhatsApp message. Would you like it if you didn’t have to pay a subscription?
For those on a tight budget, the cheap or free plans along with ads are the perfect option without thinking† You can then view the same content as the rest and just share. The hard choice is mainly for those who can afford it, but may find it too much.
It’s good to know what you’re actually paying for. Advertising is not just about selling products directly. It’s not that if you see an ad and don’t immediately hit the buy button, it means you’ve “won”.
Ads sneak into your subconscious mind to change your behaviour, without you knowing in any way. No wonder advertising plays such a large role in dystopian science fiction. I think it would be wise to keep this in mind if you soon face the option of getting a cheaper Netflix subscription.
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