Netflix could introduce its cheaper plan sooner than expected, but it's not all good

Netflix TV
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What you need to know

  • Netflix will reportedly roll out its cheaper ad-supported tier before the end of 2022.
  • The plan could launch alongside the platform's password-sharing crackdown.
  • Netflix originally indicated that its cheaper tier would arrive in a year or two.

Netflix is apparently desperate to roll out some big changes as soon as possible, as reports indicate that the streaming platform may introduce its cheaper ad-supported plan as early as this year.

According to The New York Times, Netflix executives have informed employees that it would introduce the new streaming tier in the final quarter of 2022, meaning it could launch on the best streaming devices as soon as October. Netflix's co-founder and co-CEO, Reed Hastings, previously stated that the company would explore the option over the next two years.

The announcement was a surprising one, as the platform has seemed adamant about not allowing ads despite many rivals introducing ad-supported tiers. HBO Max, for example, introduced a cheaper tier with ads last year and has recently seen its subscriber base grow by more than 3 million. Netflix, meanwhile, lost subscribers for the first time in 10 years, shedding 200,000 accounts and projecting to lose 2 million this quarter.

The company has blamed its woes on password sharing, a practice that is far from new to subscribers on the platform. In fact, the company has been testing a way to charge users for sharing their accounts with others outside their household, and "feature" this could also roll out more widely later this year. According to Times, the note to employees stated that the new ad-supported tier would roll out "in tandem with our broader plans to charge for sharing."

Android Central has reached out to Netflix for a comment but did not immediately receive a response.

That said, these changes may not be enough for Netflix to regain the subscribers it has lost, and our Michael Hicks points out that Netflix's problems are much deeper than password sharing and that it may have waited too long to adjust to the growing streaming market.

Derrek Lee
Managing Editor

Derrek is the managing editor of Android Central, helping to guide the site's editorial content and direction to reach and resonate with readers, old and new, who are just as passionate about tech as we are. He's been obsessed with mobile technology since he was 12, when he discovered the Nokia N90, and his love of flip phones and new form factors continues to this day. As a fitness enthusiast, he has always been curious about the intersection of tech and fitness. When he's not working, he's probably working out.