May 26, 2024

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Netflix’s subscription plan that includes adds costs $6.99 a month.
Image: Mario Anzuoni (Reuters)

The number of active monthly users of Netflix’s ad-supported plan skyrocketed 700% to 40 million this year, compared with 5 million in 2023, the streaming giant announced today as part of its upfront presentation to advertisers.

When streaming services first came on the scene, they promised subscribers access to thousands of movies and TV shows all ad-free for a relatively low monthly fee. However, in recent years, streaming services have turned to ads as an additional source of revenue.

Netflix and Disney+ introduced ads to some of their plans in late 2022. Amazon Prime Video joined them this year. Netflix said on Wednesday that 40% of all new signups to the streaming service are for its $6.99 ad-supported tier. Netflix’s standard ad-free plan costs $15.49 a month.

This month, streamers and television networks have been vying for advertisers’ attention and dollars during their annual upfront presentations.

Netflix highlighted its very engaged audience: Over 70% of Netflix’s ad-supported subscribers watch 10 hours or more of content a month.

“Our audiences are highly engaged — and by engaged I mean that they are choosing to spend their time watching Netflix,” said Netflix Chief Content Officer Bela Bajaria in a press release. “When people watch our shows and movies, they get more value from Netflix, they stick around longer, and they’re more likely to recommend us to their friends. And this matters to all of you because you want to be where the audiences are, too.”

Earlier this month, Amazon teased the introduction of new interactive ad formats for its video streaming service.

Netflix ads, by the digits

37: The median age of subscribers to Netflix’s ad-supported plan

20: The number of hours that over half of subscribers on Netflix’s ad-supported plan watch per month

270 million: The number of total Netflix subscribers

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