Netflix Ad-Supported Subscription May Deprive Users The Option To Download For Offline Viewing: Report

Netflix Ad-Supported Subscription May Deprive Users The Option To Download For Offline Viewing: Report

Netflix Inc NFLX has sounded out an ad-supported subscription option as part of its efforts to stem the losses in net paid subscriber additions. It now appears the streaming giant could be stringent with its new plan.

What Happened: Netflix isn’t likely to allow subscribers of its ad-supported plan to download content into their devices for offline viewing, Bloomberg reported.

The report attributed this to a code found inside the company’s iPhone app that showed the removal of the feature which currently allows users subscribing to its regular service to download and view content when they are in places without reliable internet connections.

“Downloads available on all plans except Netflix with ads,” the text in the app read, Bloomberg said, citing information provided by developer Steve Moser.

The code also implied Netflix won’t let subscribers of ad-supported plan skip ads and use playback controls during ad breaks, the report added.

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Netflix’s app had more hidden references such as text about the company helping with tailor-made ads for specific users.

“Now, let’s set up your ad experience. We just need a few details to make sure you get the most relevant ads on Netflix. It’ll be really quick, we promise!” the company reportedly said in a text.

Why It’s Important: Netflix’s fundamentals have begun to flounder recently as competition and market saturation led to the bleeding of subscribers. Other streaming services such as Walt Disney Co.’s DIS Hulu, Comcast Corporation’s CMCSA Peacock and Warner Bros. Discovery, Inc.’s WBD HBO Max all have ad-supported options, while Disney is planning to introduce one for its flagship Disney+ streaming service.

Netflix has said the ad-supported option would be rolled out in 2023.

NFLX Price Action: Netflix shares are up 1.70% to $241.15 Thursday at publication, according to Benzinga Pro data.

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