Basic with Ads is Netflix’s least popular subscription plan in its first month

Netflix’s newest plan, Basic with Ads, failed to meet its first month customer sign-up and earnings projection.

Netflix launched a Basic with Ads subscription tier back last month in an attempt to bring back subscribers. The tier, at a price point of $6.99, supported ads and also restricted some shows. Following its launch, many groups estimated it would make the streaming platform an additional $5.5 billion by 2027.

Netflix's Wednesday breached the billion hours streamed mark to become only the third show to do in the first month.

However, it appears customers aren't interested in a cheaper subscription tier. According to data analytics firm, Antenna, the Basic with Ads tier had the least new subscribers when it came out. Antenna revealed that only 9% of new Netflix subscribers opted for the Basic with Ads plan in its first month of existence.

The analytics firm further revealed that more than half of those who signed up for the tier were users who wanted to renew their subscription after it expired or those joining for the first time. A further 43% of this figure were existing subscribers who had downgraded their subscription from a pricier plan.

Netflix will find the 9% new subscriber rate disappointing given HBO Max’s similar attempt in 2021 yielded 15% new subscribers in its first month, with only 14% of those subscribers downgrading from more expensive plans. However, the streaming company doesn’t seem daunted by such a poor showing.

Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery is another Netflix content that performed very well with audiences and shows promise for the platform.

The company rejected Antenna’s report stating it was inaccurate. A company spokesperson stated in an email to Gizmodo:

It’s still very early days for our ad-supported tier and we’re pleased with its launch and engagement, as well as the eagerness of advertisers to partner with Netflix.

The streaming platform’s response suggests it is still reserving judgment on its new tier, which is just as well, given the fact that it lost over 200,000 subscribers in two consecutive quarters in 2022 and the ad-supported tier is one of its plans to get back on track following these losses.

The second plan is to crack down on users who share their passwords and put a stop to it. While the company has since recovered from its losses, with 2.4 million new subscribers and a 70% gain in stock price, the new report ad-supported tier’s performance downed its shares by 9%.

The streaming platform is working on delivering great shows to its audiences and recently greenlit another live-action spinoff of its highly successful The Witcher series.

Basic with Ads’ performance is due to a few factors, including the fact that the streaming platform cannot show about 15% of its titles because it doesn’t have the right to advertise on them. These titles include New Girl, Peaky Blinders, The Last of Us, The Good Place, and House of Cards.

It also doesn't support movie downloads for offline viewing. Besides, the tier is available in only 12 countries, including the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, France, and Mexico, among others. If Netflix can work out how to offer more to ad-supported users and make them available in more countries, there's a high possibility the plan will drive more subscribers to the platform.

For what it's worth, it's not all bad news for Netflix. The Addams family spin-off, Wednesday, recently became the third show to record over one billion hours streamed within its first month. Also, its Daniel Craig-led live-action film, Glass Onions: A Knives Out Mystery, broke its limited theater release record with a $15 million gross despite being available in select theaters and having only a week-long run.

Tobi Oguntola

Tobi is an avid reader with interest in everything entertainment. He also loves the big screen as it fuels his overactive imagination. When he is not reading a fantasy, sci-fi, or thriller novel, he is listening to music, watching TV, or surfing the internet. Tobi is on Steam as tobioguntola.
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