Netflix advert plan will block content material downloads
The move suggests that Netflix wants to do its best to distinguish the new service from its current offerings.
users of new Netflix ad plan will not be allowed to download programs and movies on their devices for offline viewing, according to code found in the company’s iPhone app, a feature available to customers with the standard subscription.
THE The move suggests that Netflix wants to do its best to distinguish the new service from its current offerings. The streaming giant, which has shunned advertising for years, plans to roll out the package with ads by early next year. But clues about the new service are already reflected in the hidden code of the iPhone app.
“Downloads available on all plans except Netflix with ads,” reads the text of the app discovered by developer Steve Moser and shared with Bloomberg News. The code also states that users will not be able to skip ads – a common practice in the streaming world – and playback controls will not be available during commercial breaks.
Netflix did not comment. As the launch of the service will still take several months, it is likely that the company’s plans will still change and the approach could change.
Even so, early clues suggest that Netflix is looking to strictly limit certain perks to the ad-based service. In its regular plans, users can download content for viewing in places without stable internet access, such as airplanes. The lack of this option could help Netflix get more users for more expensive plans after luring them to the ad version. The Los Gatos, Calif., company has already said it won’t offer all the content in the ad-supported plans.
Netflix has been losing customers and faces competition from Walt Disney, Amazon.com and Warner Bros’ HBO Max. Discovery. Last quarter, it lost 1.3 million customers in the US and Canada, its largest region.
Rival services like Disney’s Hulu, Warner Bros.’ HBO Max and Comcast’s Peacock already have built-in plans with ads to drive growth. Cheaper versions of services like HBO Max also disable the download option.
The Netflix app has additional hidden references to its ad expansion, including text on how to help Netflix tailor advertising to specific users. “Now, let’s configure your ad experience. We just need a few details to make sure you get the most relevant ads on Netflix. It will be very fast, we promise!” reads one message.
The advertising plan will provide a cheaper alternative for customers frightened by rising prices. The premium tier of the service, which offers 4K resolution and up to four streams at the same time, costs $20 a month in the US.
Netflix previously said the ad-based service will be made available in multiple regions, and that Microsoft will be the sales and technology partner for the advertising system.