Netflix and Disney+ are the most recent streaming services to introduce ads and commercials, with both companies seemingly missing the point entirely. Since 2007, streaming services have been arguably the most popular way to consume TV/film since Netflix pioneered the business.
The popularity of online streaming has grown since then, with companies like Disney, Amazon, Paramount, and HBO joining the fray. There can be no overstating the popularity of streaming services and their original content. With Netflix, for example, you can watch some of the most popular shows, including Stranger Things, and movies from celebrities like Ryan Reynolds.
After Netflix launched its original content in November 2019, Disney looked to capitalize on this trend with Disney+. The service has since expanded to many other countries worldwide and is now the exclusive home of many highly coveted film and TV franchises. With Disney+, Disney promised original content akin to Netflix’s, a promise it emphatically delivered on.
From The Mandalorian and Obi-Wan Kenobi to the unprecedented TV expansion of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Disney+ is producing seemingly endless original content on par with Netflix. Netflix and Disney+ have both announced that they will be advertising their services in 2022, leading many to question why and if they are missing the point entirely.
The reason Netflix and Disney+ are introducing commercials is simple: revenue. Ads on streaming services not only mean that companies can earn from subscription fees from patrons, but also from advertisement companies. Business-wise, this move is smart, as it allows both companies to double their revenue.
In packaging advertising as beneficial to consumers, however, it appears to be a way of taking money from them. Advertisements will benefit both companies and may offset some of the problems they have been experiencing, such as Netflix losing subscribers, but they are out of touch with consumers’ needs and smack of corner-cutting.
If both companies include advertisements, they are completely missing the point of the services. Over the past decade, streaming services and their insurgence were marketed to customers who moved away from cable TV. The use of streaming services would allow users to consume TV and films without getting interrupted by advertisements.
Disney+ and Netflix, with their advertisements, simply become new “regular TV,” something the streaming services were supposed to replace. Adding advertisements to original content, such as Disney+’s Marvel shows, would stifle all excitement generated by those shows.
As streaming services add commercials, it is natural to wonder if they will be effective. Due to Netflix and Disney+ being two of the biggest streaming services, it’s evident that the companies themselves believe it will benefit them. Ads will, however, depend on whether the customers paying for the services find them to be detrimental.
In the future, Disney+ will charge $10.99 a month for “Disney+ Premium,” which is the same service Disney+ currently offers (ad-free) for $7.99. At $7.99 a month, Disney+ is cheaper than HBO Max and Netflix, but it will include commercials and advertisements, meaning consumers will be required to pay more to avoid them.
The new Disney+ pricing remains to be seen, especially as customers will be suddenly asked to pay more to remove ads from their viewing experience. Although companies such as YouTube already offer this kind of service, streaming services are a different animal altogether, since advertisements go directly against the purpose of streaming services. With Netflix, it’s almost the opposite.
As usual, Netflix’s regular subscription prices are rising; consumers can get a deal on an ad-heavy version of Netflix at a reduced price if they prefer. It remains to be seen if either of these plans will be in the companies’ best interests, but if consumers decide to cancel their subscriptions altogether because both companies have failed to achieve their goals, it is fair to say the decision has failed.
Robert Poirrer is a contributing author who covers Hollywood latest movie releases and web series for the MovieThop website. He has a decade of experience in writing movies based articles for numerous renowned media outlets. He is excellent at creating unique content based on emerging trends in a variety of categories especially entertainment, movies and lifestyle. When not writing articles you could find Robert enjoying mountain biking trips with his friends. He graduated in English Literature from North Carolina State University.