Nobody is happy with Netflix's most recent price increase, but our latest study finds the majority of consumers prefer this to the introduction of commercials.


It was almost silly to ask the question, but to find an audience we could ask about what they prefer, we polled 1,105 US Netflix subscribers and found that over 81% of them were at least somewhat unhappy that Netflix was raising prices. Obvious, certainly.

We then asked the same group of people if they preferred price increases to the introduction of advertisements to subsidize the monthly cost. So while the majority of respondents said that while they were unhappy with rate hikes, they much prefer paying more for Netflix than having to watch advertisements in-between content with 74% of respondents saying that they at least slightly prefer price increases to commercials.


Question: Would you prefer that Netflix increase prices or introduce commercials to subsidize costs?

Price Increases<—>Commercials
Strongly PreferSlightly PreferNot SureSlightly PreferStrongly Prefer


When we asked a handful of respondents for their specific thoughts, we got some interesting responses that clarified their thinking a bit:

“I either want to pay for a service and not see ads, or not pay for a service and see ads. None of that double-dipping bullsh*t”

“A few dollars more a month to not deal with commercials is totally worth it to me. Commercials drive me crazy, it's why I switched to Netflix in the first place.”

“I pay the extra money on my Hulu account every month to avoid seeing commercials. It's the best money I spend every month on any TV subscriptions.”

Few things seem to drive consumers more crazy when it comes to entertainment than commercials. Interruptions between TV shows, live sports, and movies are a non-starter for many people. It seems likely that over the past few years we have simply gotten so used to fewer commercials through services like Netflix, Amazon Video, and other streaming services, that even without increases in total advertisement time during shows, it feels like we're seeing more ads.

This increasingly negative sentiment has seemingly affected the way major networks think about advertising as well, with many of them working to cut back the total number of ad breaks during show episodes. The networks are reportedly working with advertisers to charge more per ad in order to make up for lost revenue. Their current pitch is that they can provide a more-attentive audience with less or shorter ad breaks for them to get distracted. Strategically, this seems to make sense for networks, but will advertisers play along?

Netflix, who has to-date resisted the temptation to start streaming any glaringly obvious advertisements, has tested pre-roll for their own originals, which some subscribers thought was a step too far.

However, the service's CEO, Reed Hastings, said in 2015 that ads will never come to Netflix.

“No advertising coming onto Netflix. Period. Just adding relevant cool trailers for other Netflix content you are likely to love.”

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