(Pocket-lint) - Netflix has long been in the anti-ad corner, often denying it would ever introduce an ad-supported streaming tier. But now it's backtracking.
Netflix co-founder and co-CEO Reed Hastings said on the company's first-quarter earnings call that the company is "quite open to offering even lower prices with advertising, as a consumer choice".
It's now considering the option and trying to figure it out "over the next year or two". Hastings has acknowledged that an ad-supported tier would be a huge change for the streaming giant, but he now believes advertisements make "a lot of sense" for consumers who "would like to have a lower price and are advertising tolerant". In addition to ads, co-CEO Ted Sarandos also discussed a move into live sports - something it previously flat-out rejected. According to Deadline, he said: "I’m not saying that we’ll never do sports but we’ll have to see a path to growing a big revenue stream and a great profit stream with it".
Keep in mind Netflix recently reported that it lost subscribers for the first time in a decade, and it's even considering ways to restrict password sharing to help its bottom line. Its competition - including Hulu, Peacock, and even HBO Max - all offer plans that let consumers pay less or nothing in exchange for displaying ads. Even Disney+ plans to release an ad-supported option by the end of the year.