After mass layoffs, Netflix to add cheaper ad-supported tier to streaming service
LOS ANGELES - There might be a pretty major new addition coming to your favorite Netflix shows and movies: Ads.
Speaking in an interview at the Cannes Lions advertising festival earlier this week, the streaming service’s co-CEO Ted Sarandos confirmed the company is working on plans to roll out a cheaper, ad-supported tier for the platform
"We’ve left a big customer segment off the table, which is people who say: ‘Hey, Netflix is too expensive for me and I don’t mind advertising,’" Sarandos said. "We [are] adding an ad tier; we’re not adding ads to Netflix as you know it today. We’re adding an ad tier for folks who say, ‘Hey, I want a lower price and I’ll watch ads,’" the Hollywood Reporter reported.
The move comes as the streaming service reels from a devastating subscriber loss prompting the company to cut hundreds of jobs.
FOX Business reported on Thursday that Netflix is cutting 300 additional jobs, or approximately 3% of its workforce, as the streaming behemoth is contending with a slowdown in its revenue growth.
"While we continue to invest significantly in the business, we made these adjustments so that our costs are growing in line with our slower revenue growth," a Netflix spokesperson told FOX Business in a statement.
"We are so grateful for everything they have done for Netflix and are working hard to support them through this difficult transition."
It’s the second round of layoffs following a cut of roughly 150 Netflix employees who were let go in May. At the time, the company said the changes were "primarily driven by business needs rather than individual performance."
As of the end of 2021, Netflix had approximately 11,000 employees.
In the first quarter of 2022, Netflix reported a loss of 200,000 subscribers, its first decline in over a decade.
The company attributed the decline to factors including account sharing among more than 100 million households, competition with other streaming services, sluggish economic growth, inflation, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and continued disruption from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Netflix Chief Financial Officer Spencer Neumann told analysts and investors in April that the company was committed to cutting costs over the next two years to maintain margins of roughly 20%. In 2022, the company plans to invest approximately $17 billion toward its television shows and films.
In addition to cutting costs, Netflix has started testing a policy that charges users for sharing subscriptions outside of households in Costa Rica, Chile and Peru. It also plans to introduce a cheaper, ad-free subscription tier, which could reportedly roll out by the end of the year.
Netflix, which has nearly 222 million subscribers globally, expects to lose another 2 million subscribers by the end of the second quarter. The company's shares have fallen nearly 70% year to date as of the time of publication.
FOX Business contributed to this story.