Netflix Will Officially Be Adding Commercials

Rae Batchelor
The Netflix logo on a tv.
Unsplash | David Balev

All good things must come to an end. Or at least, most good things must at some point or another change, and Netflix is no stranger to changing. Whether it's updating its library, coming up with new rules, or switching up its algorithms, Netflix loves to keep things fresh and new.

The latest update from the streaming platform is sure to be a controversial one, since it involves the biggest feature that Netflix offers: the lack of commercials and advertising.

Pretty much everyone is familiar with Netflix.

A hand holding a phone showing the Netflix logo in front of a laptop displaying the Netflix landing page.
Getty | SOPA Images

Even if you don't use the streaming platform yourself (do these people still exist?), you probably know the basic idea: you pay a monthly subscription fee, and this means you can pick and choose what to watch, when to watch it, and you get to watch it with no commercials or advertising interrupting your experience.

But for some users, that's about to change.

Netflix's CEO, Reed Hastings, has opened up about the platform's decision to introduce a subscription tier that includes advertising.

Homer Simpson watching TV.

"One way to increase the price spread is advertising on low-end plans and to have lower prices with advertising," Hastings said. "Those who have followed Netflix know that I've been against the complexity of advertising and a big fan of the simplicity of subscription."

"But as much as I'm a fan of that, I'm a bigger fan of consumer choice," he went on.

Someone pointing a remote at a TV screen with the Netflix logo on it.
Unsplash | freestocks

"Allowing consumers who would like to have a lower price and are advertising-tolerant get what they want makes a lot of sense. So, that's something we're looking at now, we're trying to figure out over the next year or two. Think of us as quite open to offering even lower prices with advertising as consumer choice," he said.

"I don't think we have a lot of doubt that it works," Hastings went on.

Someone watching Netflix on a tablet.
Unsplash | CardMapr

"I'm sure we'll just get in and figure it out as opposed to testing it," Hastings went on, adding that it is "not a short-term fix, because once you start offering a lower-priced plan with ads as an option, some consumers take it."

People have taken to Twitter to share how they feel about this move.

"So when Netflix starts offering a tier with commercials, it's that regular TV? Does that mean better residuals? Will newer writers NOT have to work in 6 mini-rooms/yr to make what I made ten years ago on one show?" tweeted one showrunner and writer.

A lot of people didn't see the point.

For some people, this would be enough to cancel their subscriptions altogether. "Absolutely not. I will not be paying for Netflix if I have to sit through commercials. It defeats the purpose," tweeted one user.

Some people didn't care about the price point.

"Y’all make more than enough money and is very successful without it… let me guess y’all gone make people pay extra to not have commercials or ads?" one user asked.

"Ain't that Netflix's whole selling point?" one Twitter user wondered.

"That's just Hulu," pointed out one response, although Hulu isn't the only streaming service that allows people to opt-out of ads at a price — Disney+ and YouTube also both offer this feature.

It's definitely a controversial move that a lot of people aren't happy about.

A mermaid watching Netflix on a laptop.
Giphy | GIPHY Studios Originals

What do you think? Would you take a lower monthly subscription fee for Netflix if it meant having to see advertising or commercials sometimes? Let us know how you feel in the comments!

h/t: Deadline