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74% of Netflix Subscribers Would Rather Cancel Their Subscription Than See Ads (allflicks.net) 316

An anonymous reader writes: AllFlicks conducted a survey of more than 1,200 people on Reddit, asking them a series of questions regarding ads on Netflix. "Would you rather pay more for Netflix or see advertisements while you stream?" they asked. Of more than 1,200 respondents, an incredible 90% said they'd prefer a price hike to ads. "The sweet spot appears to be $1-2 [more], which 57% of respondents chose as their upper bound. A further 22% said they could go as high as $2-3 more, and less than a quarter were willing to go higher." The next question they asked: "If Netflix started showing ads, would you cancel your subscription?" Nearly 74% said they'd be done with Netflix if ads debuted on the service. AllFlicks writes, "Netflix's users are sending the service a pretty clear message: if the service starts selling ads, customers would consider leaving." In early May, CordCutting.com crunched some numbers and found that each Netflix subscriber saves themselves about 158.5 hours of commercials per year.
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74% of Netflix Subscribers Would Rather Cancel Their Subscription Than See Ads

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  • Content (Score:5, Insightful)

    by NetNed ( 955141 ) on Tuesday June 21, 2016 @03:48PM (#52362031)
    If they don't improve their content of movies that were actually in the theater ads might not matter.........
    • Re:Content (Score:5, Informative)

      by butchersong ( 1222796 ) on Tuesday June 21, 2016 @04:12PM (#52362251)
      Their strategy is original content and older back catalog stuff you might have in the past seen on stations like TBS. I think that is working. It would be suicidal of them to implement ads though. They have to have observed what happened once Hulu offered ad free service -usage skyrocketed.
      • Re:Content (Score:4, Informative)

        by rahvin112 ( 446269 ) on Tuesday June 21, 2016 @06:54PM (#52363193)

        You are wrong. They will license anything they can that's being offered at reasonable prices. There are studio's that refuse to license anything and there are others that offer it at such a high price that it's economically impossible for Netflix to license the material. They've moved to producing their own content to act as a counter this licensing problem.

        Personally I'd like to see congress make licensing compulsory if the content is owned by a internet provider (ie cable or telephone company). Many of these companies are the ones that are refusing to provide licenses because they are using it to actively harm the competition Netflix provides. These actions are anti-competitive and harm the free market. Until there is compulsory licensing at a fixed price regardless of size the market will remain broken and Netflix can only develop their own content to use as leverage in these deals.

      • That's not the strategy, that's just what they can get. The newer movies are being held back because the owners don't want to give up streaming rights or are trying to get more money from Netflix. That's why you may not find some movies on Netflix even though their sequels are available. Netflix would show everything if they could.

      • Re:Content (Score:5, Informative)

        by Deep Esophagus ( 686515 ) on Tuesday June 21, 2016 @07:51PM (#52363577)

        It would be suicidal of them to implement ads though.

        Some of us are old enough to remember when the whole point of cable TV was that by paying a fixed fee every month, we were spared the annoyance of ads.

        It'll come. Sooner or later, probably sooner, streaming content will be just as ad-choked and invasive as broadcast TV and cable/dish services.

        • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

          Then people will go back to torrents... Don't underestimate how much they despise ads and time wasting. People used to post episodes of Mythbusters with all the filler cut out (about 10 minutes remained of a 23 minute show) and they were immensely popular.

          Netflix, like MP3 music stores, only win against piracy because they offer a better or at least equivalent product. As soon as they offer something worse people will abandon them.

    • There was an article a few weeks back that they will be getting all new disney, marve, lucasfilm, and-pixar movies
      https://news.slashdot.org/stor... [slashdot.org]

      And they have pretty amazing TV content

    • by pr0t0 ( 216378 )

      This is why I have the Blu-Ray disc option. A lot of their original content is fantastic, but the back catalog of streaming content is a steaming pile of crap. The first run theater content is generally only available on disc though. It seems antiquated, but it works. Eventually the current distribution model for first-run films will change...hopefully in my lifetime.

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by Gr8Apes ( 679165 )

        The first run theater content is generally only available on disc though. It seems antiquated, but it works.

        How cute. Until streaming comes anywhere near BD quality, I will continue with discs. I would rather not watch blocky blurred stuttering video with crappy audio.

        • Re:Content (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Bartles ( 1198017 ) on Tuesday June 21, 2016 @05:29PM (#52362777)

          Hello, it's not 2008 anymore.

    • I rarely watch any movies on Netflix. For quite some time the only relevant content for me is binge watching TV shows. And it would probably take lifetimes to get through all of them. Well, if I didn't have Amazon Prime and Hulu also I might get through the Netflix TV shows quicker.

      • Even with movies it would take me a lifetime. I haven't watched all the old movies yet, so if the new movies take a year or two to show up then that's ok with me. Though at some point it may be useful to get the DVD subscription to Netflix because some shows will NEVER stream on anything other than the content owner's service (Game of Thrones will never stream on anything but HBO, Big Bang Theory will never stream on anything other than the laughable CBS service, etc).

        The value I get from $10/month is so

  • A simple truth: (Score:5, Insightful)

    by olsmeister ( 1488789 ) on Tuesday June 21, 2016 @03:48PM (#52362037)
    If someone pays for a service, they will not want to see commercials. No need for focus groups, surveys, marketing research, or high priced consultants. Frame my first sentence and hang it in your lobby Netflix.
    • Re:A simple truth: (Score:5, Interesting)

      by 93 Escort Wagon ( 326346 ) on Tuesday June 21, 2016 @04:08PM (#52362219)

      If someone pays for a service, they will not want to see commercials.

      Yup, exactly.

      We had tried Hulu Plus a few years back, and the commercials drove us nuts - we cancelled within two months. It wasn't until they created an ad-free tier that we even considered going back.

      And frankly, with Netflix dropping more and more of their third-party content, we're seriously considering dropping Netflix streaming anyway - in which case, commercial-free Hulu Plus would be the only streaming service we subscribe to (we've also got HBO Go, but HBO is included for free as part of our Limited Basic cable subscription for some odd reason - I wouldn't pay $15/month for HBO NOW).

      • If Hulu Plus has commercials, what did you have to sign up to to get did of them - Hulu Doubleplus?

        And if so does ordinary Hulu have anything other than commercials?

        I'm sure some people would actually watch it in any case.

    • by DogDude ( 805747 )
      Cable TV and movie theaters prove your statement to be wrong. People frequently pay for a service AND see commercials.
      • by suutar ( 1860506 )

        but they don't _want_ to (except maybe movie previews), they just put up with it.

      • Except the cable companies aren't selling you the content, they're selling the delivery. You're paying for the delivery of ESPN or a broadcast channel; it's ESPN and the broadcast channel that are showing you the ads. Considering the history and original purpose of cable TV, it's a bit silly to expect them to strip the ads from the broadcast channels just so you don't get ads while you're paying for the "service". Or to strip ads from any of the content providers, for that matter. I'm not sure anyone would
    • Re:A simple truth: (Score:5, Informative)

      by StormReaver ( 59959 ) on Tuesday June 21, 2016 @04:45PM (#52362513)

      Yep. I would consider it for exactly the length of time it took to click on the "Delete Account" link.

    • I agree wholeheartedly as an individual. But the number of people who are willing to do so is staggering. Just look at the apps that use ads + dollars as their revenue.

    • Re:A simple truth: (Score:5, Interesting)

      by CrankyFool ( 680025 ) on Tuesday June 21, 2016 @05:13PM (#52362691)

      It's worth noting, BTW, that Netflix didn't sponsor this study. Mostly because everyone at Netflix already knows how toxic ads would be to the brand.

      Signed,
      a geek who works for Netflix

      • It's worth noting, BTW, that Netflix didn't sponsor this study. Mostly because everyone at Netflix already knows how toxic ads would be to the brand.

        Bingo! Netflix has already figured out how to be successful, and part of that is not having ads. They don't have any plans to move to ads. And we already know that people prefer to not have ads. What a waste of time.

      • Oh, can you tell your bosses to get rid of that silly feature where a program starts playing before I hit play? I just want to read the show's description without the music and video starting. Oh and no auto-playing videos for featured programs either, not even than Pee-Wee Herman thing. Other than that, I like it, just don't such up my bandwidth until I'm ready to watch.

    • by Kjella ( 173770 )

      If someone pays for a service, they will not want to see commercials. No need for focus groups, surveys, marketing research, or high priced consultants. Frame my first sentence and hang it in your lobby Netflix.

      Well duh, users don't want to see ads when they don't pay either. If you take a survey of people using ad blockers you can get a lot of other fringe reasons but mainly it's because they don't like watching ads. Faster load times, less bandwidth consumption, less chance of getting hacked by malware ads and so on are just gravy. All other things being equal, users never want to see ads. So the question is, what are you getting in return?

      The question is very negatively laden for the customer, if Netflix wants

  • by Archangel Michael ( 180766 ) on Tuesday June 21, 2016 @03:50PM (#52362051) Journal

    In this age, commercials are also "content", one that nobody cares for. If I see an ad, for more than 5 or 10 seconds, it is too long. Especially if it one I've seen a couple dozen times already. I already know your product, and showing me another 24 times this week isn't going to help you sell it to me. In all likelihood, it is gonna piss me off, and i'll choose your competitor's or generic version.

  • by DoofusOfDeath ( 636671 ) on Tuesday June 21, 2016 @03:51PM (#52362063)

    Netflix is also starting to cut it close as far as not offering me enough content to be useful.

    Back in the old days, before they had competition, I could pretty much count on them having episodes of any older TV show I care about, and also lots of anime I hadn't yet seen (English-dubbed "Bleach", "Freezing", "M*A*S*H", etc.)

    But lately, they're in the habit of dropping some of those shows, or at least of failing to carry recent seasons.

    I'd gladly pay a few more bucks per month for them to remedy that.

    • Netflix is also starting to cut it close as far as not offering me enough content to be useful.

      Back in the old days, before they had competition, I could pretty much count on them having episodes of any older TV show I care about, and also lots of anime I hadn't yet seen (English-dubbed "Bleach", "Freezing", "M*A*S*H", etc.)

      But lately, they're in the habit of dropping some of those shows, or at least of failing to carry recent seasons.

      I'd gladly pay a few more bucks per month for them to remedy that.

      I doubt it would help.

      Netflix isn't missing a comprehensive library because of a mild price hike, they're missing that library because exclusive content is more valuable than comprehensive content.

      As much as Netflix wants that show to round out their library another provider wants it more so they can be the exclusive source.

    • by H3lldr0p ( 40304 )

      It may not be the company's fault.

      We already know that the cable companies are trying to get rid of them. I'm certain they're trying to keep NetFlix from getting any more content before they do. There's plenty of interest in and resistance from Hollywood studios as well. They don't want to give everything away and probably want to grab it back as soon as possible so they don't lose out on DVD sales.

      And then there's that Disney coup that's probably sticking in someone's craw thanks to the back-catalog access

      • Pretty much. As old content providers enter the market with their own streaming services they want more money and are less inclined to license content to other providers that are now considered real competitors. I'm not sure where this will go. Maybe all content providers will end up with a single large wholesale marketplace where all content creators are and every series and movie is available for x price per stream and region locks become a thing of the past... Yeah, seems more likely we're going to st
      • Disney doesn't own a cable company. Almost everything licensed to Netflix is stuff that's not owned by a cable company (or other television provider). Almost without exception all the cable company owned content is not available to license by Netflix, they refuse to license at any price. Netflix would happily pay to license if they let them at a reasonable price.

        This is a deliberate anti-competitive move by the cable companies and I would be surprised if they colluded together before doing it. Congress shou

    • The worst is when you find an older show, start watching it, really get into it, and then realise they only have Season 1, or the first couple of Seasons, but not the rest. :( Sometimes, you might get lucky, and find the later seasons on another streaming service, but usually you have to resort to torrents to find the rest of the show.

      I'm okay with Netflix not having current TV shows in their streaming catalog, or not having the current season. But for a show that's been off the air for awhile, only havin

    • by SeaFox ( 739806 )

      ...I could pretty much count on them having episodes of any older TV show I care about, and also lots of anime I hadn't yet seen (English-dubbed "Bleach", "Freezing", "M*A*S*H", etc.).

      Hulu has also recently dropped the vast majority of their anime catalog [animenewsnetwork.com]. As someone who had pre-paid for his subscription through November 2017, I'm a little miffed. Might put it "on-hold" to preserve the months and come back when something shows up there I want to watch.

      Seems lots of providers are trying to do more original content to avoid having to license things, but miss that the third-party content and older series freely available to see still is what drives lots of people to subscribe to their serv

  • by Irick ( 1842362 ) on Tuesday June 21, 2016 @03:52PM (#52362079)

    ... broadcast medium is to remove ads.

    Cable TV did it, Satellite radio did it, and the IP media services are doing it.

    The question is, now that they have an audience are they willing to finally listen to them and what seems to draw them to their medium, or are we going to repeat ourselves again?

  • Adverts = slow death (Score:4, Interesting)

    by AmiMoJo ( 196126 ) <mojo&world3,net> on Tuesday June 21, 2016 @03:53PM (#52362091) Homepage Journal

    I think Netflix knows that once internet services introduce ads they usually suffer a slow, lingering death. A few survive, like YouTube, but for the most part people just move on to some other platform that hasn't started double-dipping yet.

    • I think in this case it would be a rather abrupt death by the end of the next fiscal quarter.

      Hell, I already left Netflix due to lack of content. (Though I might go back for the Marvel original series that I have been told are good.)

      • by LesFerg ( 452838 )

        (Though I might go back for the Marvel original series that I have been told are good.)

        They are ok but very short seasons. Sadly in NZ we get even less content than elsewhere.

    • YouTube has ads? I've seriously never seen one, unless you are counting annotations on top of the videos?

      It DOES seem to 'forget' my annotation settings like once a month, though.

  • We know better (Score:5, Insightful)

    by penguinoid ( 724646 ) on Tuesday June 21, 2016 @03:56PM (#52362119) Homepage Journal

    It starts with a little unobtrusive thing on the side, and before you know it you're watching 10 minutes of unskippable ads. It's like cancer -- it's got to be stopped early, before it spreads.

  • by bmk67 ( 971394 )

    I pay for Netflix specifically because it's an ad-free alternative to other non-torrent sources.

    The day they start airing ads is the day I cancel.

  • The content was very poor, so I decided to use SmartFlix to make the best use of it. Since they made it impossible to use SmartFlix any longer I cancelled both subscriptions. Simply does not worth the money.
  • AllFlicks conducted a survey...90% said...

    Until Netflix actually starts showing ads, it's just talk.

    If Netflix does start showing ads, then people either will or will not cancel.
    That is true market data, which is very cool.

    Market data is difficult to acquire and valuable to have.
    If Netflix does this experiment, they probably won't be posting the results on Slashdot.

  • by raymorris ( 2726007 ) on Tuesday June 21, 2016 @04:05PM (#52362199) Journal

    Some people make it a point to arrive at a movie theater early enough to see the "previews" aka ads . TV has multiple commercial breaks in the middle of the show. On my web sites, "related links" come at the end, after you're done with the content. These are very different in terms of how much I value avoiding them. I'd pay a much higher price spread to avoid ads interrupting a show than ads at the end, which I can so easily ignore.

    Netflix also the menu and guide screens. A banner ad there is much less objectionable than a video preroll. Also better than a preroll is one-second audio like "Welcome to Mythbusters, brought to you by Shapeways."

    I couldn't begin to put a price on avoiding ads until you tell me what kind of ad you're talking about.

    Ps - yet another variable is what is advertised. If Mythbusters had ads for for other similar shows and for hobbyist 3D printers, that would be less objectionable than ads for Enzyte Male Enhancement, because I might actually be INTERESTED in 20 seconds of information about a new hobby-grade 3D printer.

    • I couldn't begin to put a price on avoiding ads until you tell me what kind of ad you're talking about.

      Exactly, I don't have an ideological hatred of advertising but it certainly pisses me off when someone interrupts what I am doing to shove toenail fungus in my face. Here in Oz we have the ABC, it's a public broadcaster very similar to the BBC, there are no ads just promos for their own shows and the promos only appear between shows. Watching a show like Graham Norton on the ABC is a pure joy, but as soon as it becomes popular the commercial stations will buy the rights and completely fuck the show by cutti

    • by swb ( 14022 )

      But those pre-movie commercials are getting kind annoying.

      When I was a kid, we used to pray for previews at the theater -- most didn't show them or only showed 1-2 at select evening shows. If you got to the movie before it started, at best you got to stare at kaleidoscope/lava lamp images on the screen and listen to Musak or just stare at the blank screen.

      Then there was a transition period where there were a fair number of previews. Then they added advertising for the snack bar. Then they added slide sho

      • > It's like the actual movie starts 20 minutes after the movie start time.

        At my theater, the movie starts twelve minutes after the published time. I show ten minutes after the published time, two minutes before the movie. This is helpful to know when you look at the listings and there is a showing that is "about to start" and it looks like you can;t get there on time.

  • If you wish to stream ad supported content, fine. But don't expect me to pay for the service AND be forced to watch ads.

    This is exactly why I axed Hulu.
  • 74% of Netflix Subscribers Say That They Would Rather Cancel Their Subscription Than See Ads

    FTFY.

  • I hate and despise advertisements and everything about them. I block ads everywhere, and I try hard to avoid subscription services that have advertisements.

    If Netflix added advertisements, I'd drop both the subscriptions I pay for (myself and a family member) immediately, and I'd never look back. Netflix is set up as the place you can go to pay with dollars instead of evil ass advertisements. If they lose that, fuck'em.

    • by Oligonicella ( 659917 ) on Tuesday June 21, 2016 @04:26PM (#52362371)

      I don't mind ads if I'm not paying cash. If I'm paying cash and they start showing ads, I'll quit paying case. It's a bifurcation.

    • I think they'd be okay if they only played them at the beginning or end of a show - they give you a perfect time to grab a snack and/or hit the can, though. I find it interesting how many people are against ads on there. Shit, you could even do some push-ups or get active while they're on to break up your couch-slumping time. Just because they're on, it doesn't mean you have to sit there and acknowledge them.

      If they want to encourage people to watch the ads, they could even add in a pub-style trivia g
  • by BigBuckHunter ( 722855 ) on Tuesday June 21, 2016 @04:13PM (#52362273)
    I'd consider watching ads on Netflix if I were paid to do so... For example, If Netflix payed me $14.99 a month, I'd be happy with that. Price hike? Canceled. Paying for the privilege of watching commercials? Canceled.
  • If not, why do they want to either increase costs or add ads?
  • I have Netflix to address my guilt over pirate streaming all kinds of other stuff, like movies, GoT, etc. (With Netflix at least I'm paying for SOMETHING.) But since I stream mainly to avoid commercials, if Netflix went there too I'd probably fall back into 90%+ streaming again. (I almost went there already when they pulled Doctor Who and Battlestar Galactica in the same year - what's a geek to watch legally?)
  • by Quantus347 ( 1220456 ) on Tuesday June 21, 2016 @04:19PM (#52362323)
    I dont know about Cancelling my Netflix, but I can tell you that I am one of the many, many Hulu subscribers that is willing to pay a 50% markup to my per month cost just to avoid Commercials ($11.99 vs $7.99).

    Though in the case of Hulu it's not actually 100% Commercial Free. Certain shows start with a disclaimer that states "Due to streaming rights, the following is not included in our No Commercials plan and will play with a commercial before and after the show." But we are talking about seven very specific shows, and the commercial is usually 60 seconds or less (plus I always skip the one after the show). Per the current Hulu FAQ the exempt shows currently are: Grey’s Anatomy, Once Upon a Time, Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Scandal, Grimm, New Girl, and How To Get Away With Murder. Still a vast improvement overall and one I'm willing to pay the up-charge for.

    If Netflix ever introduces commercials, I anticipate they'd include some sort of No Commercials Premium account as well. Though Hulu started with Commercials and added the "upgrade" later; Netflix will be going in the other direction which will cause more uproar. The only way I see them getting away with it would be to offer the Account with Commercials at a lower cost than current subscriptions (as a way to attract new customers) and keep the current subscription price for No Commercials (at least at first). Granted I could be wrong, there was not near the subscriber exodus I would have expected when they split the streaming and the DVD-By-Mail services to separate accounts, effectively doubling the cost subscribers had to pay to get the same level of service.
  • Toss in an ad or two between episodes - I need time to pee/grab a snack, that'd be the perfect time to do it.
    • by Marlin Schwanke ( 3574769 ) on Tuesday June 21, 2016 @04:34PM (#52362457)
      That's where it starts down the slippery slope. Much like where PBS is today. Just wait. In the olden days there were a total of 4 minutes of ads, station ID, etc. and 26 minutes of show. Now you might see 18-22 minutes with network logos and animated ad graphics during the show.
      • That's a bummer - I grew up with PBS as a kid, but haven't really watched it since. Have they gone from pledging to fully-fledged adverts now?
  • by Carcass666 ( 539381 ) on Tuesday June 21, 2016 @04:28PM (#52362405)

    The ads are bad enough, but it's the stupid behaviors that get put in to make sure that you are forced to watch the ads (think VOD from cable companies that disallow fast forwarding). Watch something half-way through and want to resume it later? Not only will you have to watch the ads, but you will also have to sit through the content you have already watched. This move will cripple the user experience and drive users to other means to watch their movies online.

  • If there is no ad-free option then I will cancel. My DVR is for skipping commercials, my NetFlix and Hulu-Plus Ad-Free ditto, I'd rather watch a soccer match than watch TV with up to 1/3 advertisements.
  • Television advertisements sell for about 2.5 cents per impression, and there are about 40 impression slots available in a one-hour show. Each airing of a show makes about a dollar per viewer in advertising revenue.

    An episode on iTunes (admittedly not the cheapest way to watch tv on demand) is about two to four bucks, of which Apple keeps some - maybe around 30%. That means the content producer walks away with somewhere between $1.40 and $2.80 per viewer. More than for ad-supported shows!

    As a viewer, I have

  • How valid is the survey and sample selection methodology? Are Reddit users typical of Netflix users? Just because they have a subscription doesn't necessarily mean they are a representative sample; given they self select into Reddit. While I would not pay for Netflix if they added commercials that doesn't mean 90% would cancel their subscription. I could see a free with ads or pay for no ads model so users could self select and Netflix could tailor ads based on what they know about the user.
  • by Wrath0fb0b ( 302444 ) on Tuesday June 21, 2016 @05:12PM (#52362683)

    74% of Netflix Subscribers who are Reddit members and respond to surveys would [something something].

    How is it that a community dedicated to Science(TM) would ignore the massive sampling bias here? The survey tells you absolutely nothing about Netflix subscribers at all unless you also make the assertion that the sub-population that are also Reddit members is representative of the group as a whole.

    Or do we collectively fail to turn our skeptical demand-for-rigor brain when we see a survey or article that we support? (

  • "74% of Netflix Subscribers" != "74% reddit specific survey takers".

  • This is me for sure, I have paid for a Netflix account for years before I started using it.
    I felt it was worth it to support a company that I thought was changing the way we watched media and the way we pay for video entertainment, and really they have! But if they started commercials I am out, that is the main thing I love about Netflix. I am so sick of the dumb commercials on TV and being bombarded with ads on everything, I love the fact I can just sit and watch shows until I am done without interruption.

  • by paiute ( 550198 ) on Tuesday June 21, 2016 @06:57PM (#52363227)
    Remember when they ran a cable into your house and there were not going to be any ads on the programs because you were already paying for the signal? Yeah, that happened.

If I have not seen as far as others, it is because giants were standing on my shoulders. -- Hal Abelson

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