Gaming thrives for Netflix as it nixes cheapest ad-supported tier

  • Netflix has released its latest earnings report, detailing what content succeeded and failed on the platform.
  • Its gaming push late last year resulted in a tripling of engagement for 2023.
  • Netflix is also getting rid of its cheapest ad-supported subscription tier in the UK and Canada.

Netflix has released its earnings report for Q4 2023, with it focusing on the content on the platform that performed well and poorly over the three-month period, as well as the entire year in general.

To that end, the company’s recent push to make gaming available to its subscribers appears to have yielded dividends last year, with game engagement said to have tripled in 2023 compared to the previous year.

While the likes of Into the Breach have proved hits on the streaming platform, it pales in comparison to the impact that the introduction of Grand Theft Auto titles did when they landed late last year.

The addition of Grand Theft Auto III, Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, and Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas was deemed the, “most successful launch to date,” according to Netflix in terms of engagement and installs it confirmed, without offering up precise figures.

In fact, the company says that some people simply signed up to Netflix with the sole intention of playing the aforementioned GTA titles. This is notable given that a report from 2022 suggested that only one percent of subscribers actually engaged with any gaming content on the platform.

While there is still plenty of work to be done to make the platform as synonymous with gaming as it is with original series and movies, the company has continued to add noteworthy games to its library which now includes the likes of Hades, Dead Cells, Braid, Death’s Door, and Katana Zero.

As such, it will continue to be an area where Netflix will be focusing its attention this year.

“The year [2023] has shown the need for Netflix to balance consistency and continuous improvement with adaptability,” its earnings report mentioned.

Moving forward this year, the platform outlined that it plans to, “Increase our value to members by further improving the core (series and film), while broadening our offering (games, live and sports-adjacent programming).”

Shifting from the gaming outlook, Netflix will be removing one of its ad-supported tiers later this year. More specifically the Basic ad-supported tier will no longer be available in the UK and Canada from Q2 2024, the company confirmed, although a specific date for the change has not been detailed.

As Engadget points out, new customers have not been able to sign up for the “cheapest” ad-supported tier since July of last year, with it also receiving an increase in price in October. Moving forward, the tier will not be accessible to current subscribers either, forcing them to upgrade to one of the more expensive ad-supported versions or opt for an even more expensive ad-free plan instead.

For now, the latter news does not impact users in South Africa, as the ad-supported tiers are now available locally, but it’s clear that Netflix needs to give this newly introduced option, as well as its pricing a rethink if it plans to garner more revenue.


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