Netflix plans to push forward the launch of its ad-supported subscription tier to early November in a bid to beat Disney+.
The detail comes from the Wall Street Journal, which reported on August 31st that some ad buyers claimed Netflix told them it would launch its ad tier on November 1st. Variety cited industry experts in a September 1st report corroborating the November 1st launch goal, noting the ad-tier would go live in “multiple countries, including the U.S., Canada, U.K., France and Germany.”
A November 1st launch would put Netflix about a month ahead of Disney’s planned December launch for an ad-supported subscription tier. It’s worth noting that Disney has only detailed plans for a U.S. launch — it’s unclear if an ad tier will come to Canada.
“We are still in the early days of deciding how to launch a lower-priced, ad-supported tier and no decisions have been made,” Netflix told Variety in a statement.
Variety also detailed some of Netflix’s reported ad bid expectations. Netflix partnered with Microsoft on ads and reportedly requested ad buys submit initial bids next week. Netflix reportedly sought a “soft $65 CPM” (CPM means cost per thousand views, and $65 USD is about $85 CAD). However, the industry standard is below $20 USD CPM (about $26 CAD).
Additionally, Netflix reportedly wants a $10 million USD (roughly $13.1 million CAD) minimum commitment in annual ad spending from agencies. The streaming giant hopes to secure ad buys by September 30th to meet the November 1st launch date. Interestingly, Netflix reportedly expects to have about 500,000 customers on the ad-supported plan by the end of 2022.
Netflix has tried to keep the details of its ad-supported subscription under wraps, but frequent leaks have provided information and steadily formed a clear picture of the platform. So far, we’ve learned that the company wants to charge $7-$9/mo for the ad tier, it won’t support downloading content for offline viewing, and not all Netflix content will be available on the ad tier. The company also reportedly doesn’t plan to put ads in kids’ programming or on new movies.