Netflix’s ad-supported tier won’t have everything at launch

Netflix’s upcoming ad-supported offering won’t include all of the content you can currently watch on the streaming service, Netflix executives said during the company’s Q2 2022 earnings interview video.

“Today, the vast majority of what people watch on Netflix, we can include in the ad-supported tier,” Netflix co-CEO Ted Sarandos said. “There are some things that don’t — that we’re in conversation about with the studios on — but if we launched the product today, the members in the ad tier would have a great experience. We will clear some additional content, but certainly not all of it, but we don’t think it’s a material holdback to the business.”

“It’s certainly a nice to have,” said CFO Spencer Neumann. “But it’s not a must-have. As Ted says, we can launch today without any additional content clearance rights. Hopefully we can supplement that, but we’ll be disciplined in what we do.”

We’ll have to wait and see exactly what’s missing from the ad-supported tier, which Netflix said Tuesday that it aims to launch early 2023. The upcoming tier wouldn’t be very compelling if you couldn’t watch Netflix hits like Stranger Things or Bridgerton, for example.

You can hear the interviewer’s question and Sarandos and Neumann’s responses in context from this timestamped link (or scrub to 18:55 in the interview video). The Wall Street Journal reported last week that Netflix was seeking to negotiate its deals with studios so that it could include their content on the tier with ads. Netflix will be partnering with Microsoft on the ad-supported tier.

Disclosure: The Verge recently produced a series with Netflix.

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