The news: Netflix’s much-discussed ad-supported tier may come sooner than expected. Despite initially saying it could take one or two years to implement, the company recently told employees that it hopes to launch an ad platform between October and December 2022, per a New York Times report.
How we got here: Being ad-free used to be a point of pride for Netflix, something it touted as making it better than its competitors. But that quickly changed after Netflix’s most recent earnings report shocked investors with the news that 200,000 subscribers had left the service, its first subscription loss in a decade.
Netflix’s uneasy ad approach: Delivered just after bad news, Netflix’s uncertain advertising announcement left some feeling nervous.
Speeding things up: Netflix’s decision to rev up the project is a sign that criticism reached the company’s ears. But by Netflix’s own admission, the acceleration will come with caveats: “Yes, it’s fast and ambitious and it will require some trade-offs,” the internal note said.
Looking forward: The big remaining question mark for Netflix centers on how the consumer experience will be affected by ads.