Disney Plus will soon be offering its customers a cheaper, advertising-financed subscription model. Even Netflix no longer rules out such a concept. That's a pity precisely because it contradicts what streaming should actually be: an experience and not an advertising campaign. A comment by Anna Schmid.
What Disney Plus is up to now leaves me at a loss. The service introduces a new subscription model that allows users to stream content more cheaply. However, they have to accept advertising for this. In the USA, the subscription option should be available from the end of 2022.
For me, streaming with ads is not a streaming experience
For me, streaming is just an experience without ads.
There are certainly people for whom an advertising-financed subscription model is an option. Who don't care if they see ads and sales clips before or in the middle of the actual content. Finally, they also have to spend less money for the streaming experience than other users.
But there are also people like me for whom an ad-heavy streaming experience is no longer a streaming experience. Annoyed by spots that don't interest them on a platform they pay to use. And who fear the Disney Plus move is just the first in a direction of much more global development.
Because Netflix, which has always stood for freedom from advertising, does not completely reject Disney's proposal. CFO Spencer Neumann told Variety journalists: "It's not like we have anything against advertising, to be clear about that." And further: "Never say never."
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So it's quite possible that the streaming top dog will eventually be one of the services that rely on advertising-financed subscription models. In addition to Disney Plus, this already includes Hulu, HBO Max and Paramount+ as well as several sports streaming platforms.
Only: Would the users like it so much? As early as 2018, a study conducted by the Portal Hub showed that many customers would cancel their Netflix subscription if the service introduced advertising. 23 percent of the 1,612 respondents said they would leave the Netflix universe directly in such a case.
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Finally, what Peter Fondulas, one of the study's authors, said is telling: "When we asked users what features they found most attractive about Netflix, ad-free topped the list almost consistently." That is probably still the case today. And not just on Netflix. Personally, I value streaming ad-free in general, including Disney Plus.
However, if streaming prices continue to rise at the current rate, advertising subscriptions will likely become one, if not the only, alternative for many users. I, for one, can't enjoy a movie if it's interrupted by backpack, baking, or hair care commercials. When in doubt, I prefer to sort it out.