Netflix and Disney+ are massive streaming platforms that bring in huge profits. However, both have been looking at introducing a new way of attracting customers: offering ad-supported payment options.
Currently, you pay a monthly fee for access to the platform and all its content for both services. The ad-supported options cost less than the current options, but the catch will be that everything you watch will have adverts. Even though some have welcomed ad-supported options, others have raised data concerns.
Ad-Supported Options Explained
Specific details on how Netflix and Disney+ ads will work haven’t been released yet. However, what is known is that both platforms will have fewer adverts per hour than the main TV channels. They’re also expected to have fewer minutes of adverts per hour.
The Disney+ ad-supported option, Disney+ Basic, will roll out on 8 December in the US, with a global rollout occurring throughout 2023. The cost will be $7.99 per month, but for the time being, there won’t be an annual option that saves money. Adverts won’t feature political or adult content, and ads won’t be featured during shows aimed at young children.
Netflix’s ad-supported option is scheduled to be rolled out on 1 November. It’s going to initially be available in multiple countries with a price of between $7 and $9 or currency equivalent; the cheapest non-ad tier is currently priced at $9.99.
These days, data is big business. Lots of companies use big data to improve their profits and generate growth. By analysing trends and patterns, they can adjust their offerings and services. For streaming platforms like Netflix and Disney+, the only data they can currently access is what you watch. Some people are concerned about how your data may be handled if third-party companies start having a presence on the platforms.
If a company’s going to purchase ad space on Netflix or Disney+, it’s going to want its ads to become as profitable as possible. Therefore, the ads have to be viewed by those most likely to respond to them. This is where data comes in. Netflix and Disney+ will use data from their customers on the ad-supported tiers to ensure they watch ads that are best suited for them.
The two streaming platforms already use data to show you recommendations. If you watch mostly sci-fi films on Netflix, for example, your Netflix account will recommend films of the same genre or a similar one for you to watch. This is to maximise your engagement and help you quickly find the content you’re likely to consume.
Other data collected include ratings, when you watched something if you paused it and when, if you stopped watching something, what you searched for, and what content you looked at. All sorts of websites collect data in a similar way. For example, online casinos will use targeted ads to help you find the best sites to play at and get the best bonuses. If you’ve been searching for online slots, they’ll advertise a bonus related to online slots, such as 88 free spins and a £100 bonus. The fact is that there are so many online casinos on the market that they need to use data like this to get ahead of the competition, as well as offer bonuses and hundreds of varieties of real money slots like Buffalo Grand and Mega Moolah. While collecting personal data can benefit users, some find it concerning.
Some people are concerned about how much of this data the streaming services and the companies that advertise on them will get from customers.
It’s one thing having Netflix and Disney+ collecting data on your account activity. It’s another to have this data shared with other companies so your ads can be personalised. Many people are OK with a streaming service using data to personalise recommendations and improve its offerings. They’re not so accepting of third parties potentially using that same data.
Of course, Netflix and Disney will use sophisticated security software to protect the data they collect. While the companies are upfront about security, they’re not so upfront about exactly what information they collect and how it’s used; they don’t have to be, as long as they’re not breaking the law.
What’s likely to happen is that both platforms will tweak their advertising to ensure it’s as effective as possible. In other words, they will continually look at data to improve their advertising model. Hopefully, there won’t be any significant issues regarding this data, but the thought of it being used this way is enough to put some people off.