Code in the Netflix app suggests there may be a flaw in the ad-supported version

If you thought that ad-supported Netflix would be a regular service with a few commercial breaks, I’m sorry to tell you that you were wrong. Searched by language in the Netflix app’s code Developer Steve Moser and shared with bloombergNetflix may limit offline downloads to the ad-free tiers of Netflix.

Currently, Netflix has three tiers. For $9.99 per month, you get standard definition content and the ability to watch TV on one screen at a time. Pay $14.99 a month and you get HD and the ability to watch on two screens at once. If you want to watch everything in UHD (with 4K and HDR), you’ll have to pay $19.99. You will also be able to watch on four screens at once.

It’s really not surprising that Netflix would consider downloading offline to people who paid for the ad-free version of the service. Earlier this year co-CEO Ted Sarandos said that the ad-supported tier would not include all the same content as the ad-free, and that the ad-supported tiers are intended to be the gateway tier that gives people a taste at the lower tier. worth. And there is difficulty in displaying ads on offline content. It’s not an impossible challenge, but it is a tough challenge. In addition, Netflix already puts other stuff behind a paywall that may be standard. I pay $19.99 per month for Netflix so I can get the most out of my very best 4K TV with support for multiple forms of HDR—not because I need to be able to watch four streams at once.

But historically, Netflix has not considered offline downloads as an advantage. Back in 2016, when Netflix finally began allowing offline downloads, Sarandos told CNBC it was to support emerging markets where Wi-Fi was spotty. At that point, it was already too late to watch Netflix offline. Amazon Prime was allowing you to download stuff you wanted to watch later for years. One would assume that people are not yet subscribing to Netflix, citing reasons other than price – such as spotty internet.

In July, Microsoft announced it would be Netflix’s advertising technology and sales partner — effectively providing the infrastructure to serve ads to a new level. The new ad-supported tier for Netflix is ​​expected to launch in 2023. We’ve reached out to Netflix for comment and will update if we hear back.

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