For all the hype surrounding Netflix's introduction of a cheaper ad-supported service tier, the $6.99-a-month "Basic with Ads" is, well, pretty basic.
Speaking Tuesday at the UBS TMT conference, however, Netflix Co-CEO Ted Sarandos said the streaming company will eventually add more tier options to its ad-supported portfolio.
“We have multiple tiers today, so it’s likely we’ll have multiple ad tiers over time, but nothing to talk about yet,” Sarandos said. “And the product itself will evolve, I suspect, pretty dramatically, but slowly, gradually.”
Currently, for Basic with Ads, only one viewer can use the account at a time. The screen resolution is limited to 720p, which is technically high-definition ... but not true HD, which is 1,080p pixel resolution.
Users can't download content for offline viewing. And until Netflix works out licensing details with content owners, 10% of the programs aren't available in Basic with Ads. (Sarandos said Netflix is still working on that, too.)
Speaking on other Netflix topics, Sarandos confirmed that a crackdown on Netflix account freeloaders is indeed occurring in 2023, and that not everyone will be happy about it ... initially.
“There are folks who are enjoying Netflix, literally for free today,” Sarandos said. “So, they’re getting a lot of value out of it. I think they’ll be happy to have their own account.”
And with Netflix missing out on several key sports rights deals recently, including Formula One racing, Sarandos said the company has no plans to enter live sports anytime soon.
“We’ve not seen a profit path to renting big sports,” Sarandos said at the conference. “We’re not anti-sports, we’re just pro-profit.”
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Daniel Frankel is the managing editor of Next TV, an internet publishing vertical focused on the business of video streaming. A Los Angeles-based writer and editor who has covered the media and technology industries for more than two decades, Daniel has worked on staff for publications including E! Online, Electronic Media, Mediaweek, Variety, paidContent and GigaOm. You can start living a healthier life with greater wealth and prosperity by following Daniel on Twitter today!