Netflix wants to make in-app ads that don’t suck

The company is reportedly courting advertising executives with the promise of "innovative" new ads

Netflix app on phone

Netflix is reportedly hoping to improve the experience for users subscribed to its ‘Standard with Ads’ plan by making “innovative” new ads that are less repetitive.

To accomplish this, the ads you see for the same product will be related to one another, but not exactly the same, as reported by The Financial Times through unnamed sources. Netflix has declined to comment at this time, says the publication.

Ads on various platforms have been a source of frustration and discussion online for years. Companies make moves and consumers make countermoves, but platforms ultimately have a lot of control. Last month, YouTube reportedly tested the ability to block ad blockers for the site, something it’s toyed with in the past.

When Whip Media surveyed users of its various streaming services, between 38 and 71 percent of users (depending on the platform) were “kind of” or “very” annoyed by commercials. It also found that between 41 and 73 percent of users felt that they “see the same commercials over and over again.” This growing frustration can be easily spotted online, with opinion pieces like “Streaming services need to stop showing me the same ad over and over (and over)” appearing on The Verge.

Netflix’s various subscription tiers. The streaming service recently killed off its $9.99/month ‘Basic’ option.

Since the ad-supported plan for the service is doing well, it’s not surprising that Netflix would want to make ads less annoying for consumers. During a presentation in May, it announced that five million users are now subscribed to the ‘Basic with Ads’ plan. More than a third of new Netflix users choose this plan when they sign up.

The supposed mystery of why you see the same ads repeatedly has been investigated dozens of times by sources like The Verge, LifeWire, Marketing Brew, Digiday and more. It boils down to the fact that there are companies that collect data about you through the websites you visit and the searches you make, then make educated guesses about what kind of products you’re interested in. They sell that data to advertisers so they can target you with whatever you’re most likely to click on.

Showing you a diverse range of products isn’t as lucrative as showing you the handful of things they think they can sell. This is how they make money off of your engagement when their services are cheap, like the ‘Basic with Ads’ plan for Netflix, or free, like YouTube content.

Netflix offers three different plan types. The Standard plan streams video at full resolution (1080p) at “great” video quality with no ads for $16.49 monthly. However, the platform quietly stopped offering new Netflix users in Canada the ‘Basic’ plan last month. The ‘Standard with Ads’ plan for $5.99 per month is essentially the same but doesn’t include downloads and forces ads on you at the beginning and in the middle of your content. If you pay $20.99 per month for the ‘Premium’ plan, you’ll get 4K Ultra HD resolution and the “best” video quality, all without ads.

Source: The Financial Times Via: Gizmodo