Home Entertainment Survey suggests 57% of people in the UK would unsubscribe if Netflix showed ads

Survey suggests 57% of people in the UK would unsubscribe if Netflix showed ads

3 min read
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I love the world we live where we can stream what we want, when we want it. One of my biggest frustrations with traditional entertainment programming was having to fit your life around the TV schedule, something which I refused to do and so eventually just gave up on watching series altogether because I couldn’t keep up.

These days, I can binge watch when I have a chance and actually complete entire series for a change. Do you know what also annoyed me about traditional TV? Adverts. Those annoying things that get in the way of what you really want to watch with the hope that they can convince you to buy something when all it really did at the end of the day was made me change the channel.

It’s something though which is perfectly understandable from a commercial perspective because broadcasters need to pay the bills and the easiest way to do this is through commercial advertising. Or billing viewers to death. Or both if you’re Multichoice. This is something which is no longer a problem thanks to the likes of Netflix, Showmax and Amazon who don’t offer any advertising and make ends meet through a reasonable subscription fee which they can only afford to keep so low because of the high number of viewers they can get, as they’re no longer restricted to terrestrial limitations.

However, that doesn’t mean that even the likes of the almighty Netflix aren’t tempted by some of the revenue that ads could bring which is why they have been conducting trials on it in the US with various series and audiences. A recent survey in the UK, reported by Net Imperative, suggested that 57% of UK subscribers would cancel their subscriptions if commercials were added to the streaming service. That is quite a telling statement that people have grown tired of rampant commercialisation and don’t want it interfering with their entertainment now that they’ve had the taste of ad-free viewing.

Now, it’s worth pointing out that the UK has for a long time had a pretty decent range of free viewing, so aren’t used to the concept of paying for things as countries like South Africa are. The survey also doesn’t make mention of the potential of lowered subscription costs should advertising revenue come into play and help offset that. Asking that specifically could alter the perceptions of how much advertising they would be willing to accept in this regard. Something US audiences in particularly (Netflix’s largest target market) would likely be more willing to accept.

Still, with Netflix and other streaming services considering some forms of advertising to boost revenue, they do need to think about how this could adversely affect their subscriber numbers which are their main source of revenue.

Personally, I think advertising is inevitable, especially if streaming services are looking to consider the likes of live sports viewing where the revenue is needed to fund the expensive sports rights. What I see happening is that we will probably see different tiers of subscriptions available, cheaper ones with advertising and more expensive costs without all the commercials – like Hulu has. I would be happy to pay less and am not completely against commercials showing up on my screen as long as it’s not unnecessarily intrusive and doesn’t interrupt my entertainment (play between episodes or before and after a movie).

I’ve already been put off by the number of annoying ads on YouTube, so if streaming services got that bad, regardless of how good the content was, I would easily stop watching.

What do you think? Would you stop watching Netflix if it had ads or are you like Trevor and just grateful for the toilet break it offers?

Last Updated: January 23, 2019

54 Comments

  1. Allykhat

    January 23, 2019 at 15:00

    If they brought out a cheaper sub with Ads, that’s fine by me. But don’t make my current account have Ads and then bring out a more expensive premium one without Ads.

    I’ll can the sub and go back to torrenting if they do that. If I wanted adverts I’d go watch Hulu or DSTV.

    Reply

    • Yondaime

      January 23, 2019 at 15:28

      I came here to say this ^

      Reply

    • Admiral Chief

      January 23, 2019 at 15:33

      Some say, between all the ads, there is actually a few shows on DSTV

      Reply

      • Allykhat

        January 23, 2019 at 16:11

        Dude I was house sitting for my folks over December and they have DSTV. Discovery Channel repeats THE EXACT SAME ad reel every 8-12 minutes. Literally the exact same ads. By the 3rd go around I could recite the lines from the ad and then I had to deal with trying not to sever a major artery using the TV remote…

        Reply

        • Pariah

          January 23, 2019 at 16:11

          I read that as “horse sitting” at first glance. I was like “WTF”. Then my eyes fixed themselves.

          Reply

          • Allykhat

            January 23, 2019 at 16:16

            Yes, because horse sitting for my folks isn’t weird or creepy at all…

          • Pariah

            January 23, 2019 at 16:25

            Hence the initial “wtf” thoughts. I’d be more worried about the Banana and his disappointment that it’s not about a horse.

          • Allykhat

            January 23, 2019 at 16:25

            That thought did cross my mind… could have been an interesting convo though haha

      • Guz

        January 23, 2019 at 17:05

        What shows, reruns of reruns?

        Reply

        • Admiral Chief

          January 24, 2019 at 09:14

          😛

          Reply

    • Guz

      January 23, 2019 at 16:56

      Arh arh me matey if its adverts ya want to be dodging then its the high seas for ye ☠️.

      But jokes aside if they bring out a premium version without adds and add adds to my current ones , it the high seas for me as well

      Reply

  2. Geoffrey Tim

    January 23, 2019 at 15:00

    I would pay more for an ad-free experience. I already do with Hulu.

    Reply

    • Mark Treloar

      January 23, 2019 at 15:04

      I’m already on the premium package. Pay more? Nope

      Reply

  3. Mark Treloar

    January 23, 2019 at 15:00

    Unsub

    Reply

  4. Skittle

    January 23, 2019 at 15:04

    Showman is the worst streaming service!

    (check your spelling)

    Reply

    • Geoffrey Tim

      January 23, 2019 at 15:04

      Thanks. Sorted.

      Reply

      • Magoo

        January 23, 2019 at 15:04

        There are quite a few. >.>

        Reply

        • Geoffrey Tim

          January 23, 2019 at 15:14

          Yeah, this is the second article today that’s reverted to its original revision despite being edited. WordPress is a fickle beast.

          Reply

          • Admiral Chief

            January 23, 2019 at 15:23

            Tim-press is a fickle speller

  5. Alien Emperor Trevor

    January 23, 2019 at 15:13

    Never underestimate a good toilet break.

    Reply

    • Marigold's Revenge!

      January 23, 2019 at 15:13

      Press Pause?

      Reply

      • Alien Emperor Trevor

        January 23, 2019 at 15:13

        And miss out on the heightened sense of drama and pressure a 2 min ad break puts on you? Madness.

        Reply

        • Guz

          January 23, 2019 at 17:11

          High pressure release valve activate!

          Reply

  6. GooseZA

    January 23, 2019 at 15:38

    I’d probably cancel. I don’t watch a lot of TV as it is and adverts annoy the crap out of me. IF they put them between every 2nd episode or so then MAYBE that would be ok. But NEVER during an episode. Rips you right out of the moment and spoils the viewing experience.

    Another thing that needs to die – Those 5 second clips at the beginning of trailers that are just there as mini trailer ads to be used elsewhere! I ALREADY KNOW IM WATCHING THE TRAILER! I DONT NEED AN AD FOR THE MOVIE TRAILER IM ABOUT TO WATCH. Just use that little clip where it’s needed.

    Reply

  7. Marigold's Revenge!

    January 23, 2019 at 14:55

    Yes, I’d unsubscribe too.

    Reply

  8. Admiral Chief

    January 23, 2019 at 15:52

    Survey suggests 76% of MMO players recently changed their mind about the genre

    Reply

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