Netflix initiative: a new effective account

Hey everybody, and welcome back to my blog. This week’s post is gonna be about Netflix’s initiative to create a new low-cost subscription option but with advertising breaks.
The proposal, which has been discussed for almost three months now, has finally been announced on November the 3rd, when Netflix opened the subscription ‘Basic With Ads’ for 5,49Euros per month, and thus 2,50Euros less than the ‘normal’ subscription, which costs 7,99Euros monthly.

What really interested me, along with the idea of new cheaper accounts, is the subscription’s similarities with Rai and Mediaset, two national public broadcasting companies of Italy. A report made by Sensemakers – an Italian company that offers consulting services on media analysis and interpretation of audience behavior and profile data – illustrated how 29% of Netflix’s users would prefer a free account with lots of advertisement breaks rather than spending 8Euros per month for an account that almost drives you to ‘binge-watching’.

I believe that for the Italian population, this attachment to the advertisement breaks, rather than being an economic-related issue, is something Italians are actually comfortable with. Indeed the Rai, which was founded in 1944, and later on the Mediaset, are and have always been platforms that Italian users really appreciated and liked to spend time on. The breaks during the movie have never been an issue for the viewers, but they were an opportunity for them to actually take a break from that ‘reality’ and pause a moment to reflect on what the audience had just watched. Moreover, as I previously mentioned, the ‘binge-watching’ phenomenon creates an issue for the public since viewers do not want to be stunned by the infinite length of a movie. Therefore, in my opinion, the challenge of the ‘normal’ Netflix accounts lies here: even if the spectators can themselves stop whatever they are watching, the actual power to pause the show is zero. I’m gonna explain myself better: how can the ‘binge-watching’ be prevented in the normal accounts? From my perspective, it just can’t. If what we are watching is particularly engaging, we won’t then have the capability to pause the show and take a break from it, thus spending a period of time on Netflix that is beyond the usual without even realizing it.

Moreover, since I am originally from Italy, I feel like this way of introducing advertisements is way more effective than just putting these announcements in a series of advertisements that the public won’t even look at. Let’s think about it: while presenting advertisements in a 5 to 10 minutes break during a movie could have an actual effect on the viewers – since they are sitting in front of the television and they are almost ‘obliged’ to look at them but at the same time they might be interested in watching and understanding them – introducing adverts just like a mini show that can actually last up to 30 minutes of only advertising, it literally just annoys the viewers, who won’t only be interested in watching them but also be bored about it.

In my next blog, I will make a video to better explain this idea of advertisement during a movie so that you guys can understand my perspective on this issue.