BET Plus To Launch Ad-Supported Tier in June
BET Plus Essential $5.99 service to feature 15 to 30 second ads before and after shows
As Paramount Global continues to engage in talks about selling a stake in its BET Media Group, the group is set to launch in June an ad-supported tier to complement its BET Plus subscription streaming service.
The BET Plus Essential tier will debut June 25 – the same day as BET's annual BET Awards telecast –at a price of $5.99 per month, which is $4 less than the monthly BET Plus subscription fee, according to BET officials.
BET Plus Essential will feature a mix of 15 and 30 second ads that will run before and during programming, customized to limit viewing interruption, according to the service. The ad-supported tier will feature the same original programming lineup from BET Plus, including content from Tyler Perry, Gabrielle Union, Lee Daniels, Mary J. Blige and Kevin Hart.
BET Plus joins other streaming services such as Disney Plus and Netflix in launching ad-supported tiers.
“A primary focus for BET Plus has been delivering consumers the content they want, how they want it and when they want it, so the natural evolution of the service was to provide consumers with a more economical ad-integrated experience, BET Media Group president and CEO Scott Mills said. “We are delighted to expand access to our premium streaming service by introducing this ad-supported tier.”
The move comes as seven out of 10 Black consumers subscribe to at least one SVOD service and more than 80% have used a free ad-supported streaming TV service in the past month, according to a recent Horowitz Research survey.
“This lower priced, ad-supported tier of BET Plus will not only deliver to our audiences, but to the advertising community, which has long expressed an appetite for more non-linear options in reaching the highly coveted, digital-native Black consumer market,” BET Media Group president of media sales Louis Carr said.
A number of potential suitors have already inquired about purchasing BET, including hip hop entrepreneur Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs, Tyler Perry, Byron Allen, and more recently producers Kenya Barris and Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson, as well as NBA Hall of Famer Shaquille O’Neal.
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R. Thomas Umstead serves as senior content producer, programming for Multichannel News, Broadcasting + Cable and Next TV. During his more than 30-year career as a print and online journalist, Umstead has written articles on a variety of subjects ranging from TV technology, marketing and sports production to content distribution and development. He has provided expert commentary on television issues and trends for such TV, print, radio and streaming outlets as Fox News, CNBC, the Today show, USA Today, The New York Times and National Public Radio. Umstead has also filmed, produced and edited more than 100 original video interviews, profiles and news reports featuring key cable television executives as well as entertainers and celebrity personalities.