Netflix’s ad-supported tier may not run ads during children’s programming, a decision its rival Disney+ made in May.
As reported by TechCrunch, Netflix has told partners that children’s programming will remain ad-free. Sources also told the publication that original movies will initially remain ad-free, presumably to reassure filmmakers who don’t want big-budget releases ruined by advertising. If true, subscribers would be happy about that too.
Netflix has reportedly already made the decision
However, original series such as “Stranger Things”, “Bridgerton” and “Squid Game” will still include commercials.
If the streamer would keep children’s programming commercial-free, it could help offset the recent loss of subscribers. It’s possible that some parents have been turning away from the service because of the high price, so the future cheaper, ad-supported tier could help them save money while also giving their kids an ad-free streaming experience.
Advertising and children’s programming are not a good mix. Google and YouTube figured it out after paying out $170 million for violating children’s privacy laws. Targeting ads to children is seen as exploitative to some, and Netflix probably doesn’t want that reputation – and neither do advertisers. Organizations such as the American Psychological Association have called for tighter restrictions on advertising to children.
In partnership with Microsoft, the technology and advertising sales are all handled by a third party, so some decisions may be out of Netflix’s control. For example, it has been speculated that the ad-free plan would block offline downloads, a common move for streaming services.
For reference, Netflix is set to launch its ad-supported version next year. This would be cheaper than the current version, but there will reportedly be other limitations. For example, it may not offer the option of downloading content for offline viewing.