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Netflix reportedly considers free ad-based plan for select markets

Netflix has experimented with free plans before, but a new rumor claims the company is considering doing it again.

Published onJune 24, 2024

Netflix logo on smartphone, next to other devices stock photo (1)
Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority
  • Netflix reportedly is in talks to introduce a free plan tier.
  • The new plan would be aimed at markets in Europe and Asia that haven’t reached its full potential due to affordability issues, payment limitations, and other similar situations.
  • The United States is not one of the countries in talks for this plan, as the company already does well enough with its current model.

Netflix remains one of the most powerful streaming services in the world, but the last few years haven’t been easy for the company. It has had to make several changes to stay on top, including cracking down on password sharing and raising prices multiple times. Two years after the start of the pandemic, Netflix introduced its biggest change to date with the addition of an ad-based tier. Now, a new report claims the company may be looking to take this ad-based experience a step further by introducing a free plan.

As first reported by Bloomberg, sources familiar with Netflix’s plans claim the company is considering rolling out a free tier in select markets, primarily in Europe and Asia. The company has yet to make any decisions and is just in early talks. That said, this isn’t a major stretch, as the company actually experimented with a free option in Kenya but discontinued it last year. Like the Kenya plan, we imagine this free option would likely have a much more curated and limited selection compared to the paid experience.

Reportedly, Netflix isn’t aiming this new option at emerging markets this time around, but would instead focus on countries like Japan and Germany. It reportedly isn’t interested in offering such a solution in the US, as it is already reaching peak potential with its current plans.

The idea would be to target markets where Netflix has yet to reach its full subscriber potential for reasons including lack of affordability or no easy means of payment. For example, Germany is still very much a cash society, so credit cards aren’t nearly as common. This might make a free version much more appealing. A free plan could also lure in new customers who might potentially be interested in paid tiers as they grow hooked on the Netflix experience.

For now, this all remains speculative, but it certainly doesn’t seem too far-fetched. Netflix likely sees that there’s a lot of money left on the table when it comes to potential advertising dollars, so this seems like a pretty natural extension if the company wants to maximize its profits even further.

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