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Report: Netflix Won’t Serve Ads Mid-Content, Aims to Have Fewer Ads than HBO Max

Matt Tamanini

After a decade of resisting any and all advancements towards advertising, Netflix appears to be going full steam ahead on plans to introduce an ad-supported subscription tier later this year. While details have not yet officially been announced concerning the streaming giant’s plans, Business Insider is reporting that Netflix has already begun sharing details with advertisers.

The report says that Netflix does not plan to serve ads mid-content, at least not initially, and will instead focus on including commercials before and after content. As The Streamable has speculated, given the nature of Netflix’s ad-free original series and the sheer volume of licensed programming, coding ad breaks into existing content would require a substantial number of man-hours that would not likely allow the streamer to fully launch on schedule. So if this report proves to be true, consumers will be able to view content in its totality after getting through a handful of commercials upfront.

According to Insider, the streamer is planning to serve fewer ads than competitors, specifically citing the ad loads of Hulu and HBO Max. Depending on the content, the former can have between nine and 10 minutes of ads per programming hour while, while HBO Max announced last week that the service was down to just two to three minutes of commercials hourly.

At last week’s upfront presentation, Disney announced that they would only serve approximately four minutes of ads per hour when an ad-supported tier launches on Disney+ later this year. While it is unlikely that Netflix will get below HBO Max’s current 2-3 minutes per hour, keeping commercials as short as possible would seem to fit within the Netflix ethos of providing as premium of a viewing experience as possible.

Additionally, Netflix is planning on experimenting with product placements and sponsorships, much like Peacock and Prime Video have begun doing on their original programming.

The Insider report also details how the world’s largest streamer is engaging with the advertising world to figure out how to best integrate ads and provide the most valuable data to brands. Given the hoards of user data that Netflix has collected on users over the years, it will be interesting to see what types of information the streamer will be sharing with advertisers and if they provide any enhanced privacy settings in conjunction with the ad-tier launch.

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Netflix is a subscription video streaming service that includes on-demand access to 3,000+ movies, 2,000+ TV Shows, and Netflix Originals like Stranger Things, Squid Game, The Crown, Tiger King, and Bridgerton. They are constantly adding new shows and movies. Some of their Academy Award-winning exclusives include Roma, Marriage Story, Mank, and Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.

Netflix offers four plans — on 1 device in SD with their “Basic with Ads” ($6.99) plan, on 1 device in SD with their “Basic” ($9.99) plan, on 2 devices in HD with their “Standard” ($15.49) plan, and 4 devices in up to 4K on their “Premium” ($19.99) plan.

Netflix spends more money on content than any other streaming service meaning that you get more value for the monthly fee.

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