What Netflix’s New Ad-Service Is Really Costing Your Family

television - what netflix's new ad-service is really costing your family

Tomorrow, Netflix will start offering plans for as low as $6.99 a month. But there’s a catch: This new service option comes with ads.

It shouldn’t really be a shock to anyone. Other streaming giants like Hulu and Paramount+ have been offering similar deals since their inception. So it was only a matter of time ‘til Netflix realized it needed to catch up.

But while this might be good news for your wallet, it might not be so great for your family.

It All Ads Up

Netflix says that its “Advertiser Controls” will allow the ad creators to “prevent their ads from appearing on content that might be inconsistent with their brand (e.g. sex, nudity or graphic violence).” What it doesn’t specify is whether or not parents will have any control over what types of ads their kids will see.

Now, I realize that the chances of an ad for alcohol appearing on a kids’ show are pretty slim. Common sense on the advertiser’s part should prevent that from happening. But what about commercials that feature non-explicit same-sex couplings or other cultural “norms”?

Plugged In can watch the show for you and let you know exactly what to expect if you plop your littles in front of the TV while you catch up on some laundry. What we can’t do is tell you which ads are going to play in the middle of Bluey.

To be fair, we can’t do that with network cable shows either. But now that Netflix is offering ad-supported plans, it’s something parents should definitely consider as they discern what types of media and entertainment are appropriate for their families. Even if a show’s just right for your kids, the ads on that show may not be. And that comes with a cost, too.

(And parents should also keep in mind that Disney+ will be mimicking this new ad model in December, with plans starting at $7.99.)

Emily Tsiao

Emily studied film and writing when she was in college. And when she isn’t being way too competitive while playing board games, she enjoys food, sleep, and geeking out with her husband indulging in their “nerdoms,” which is the collective fan cultures of everything they love, such as Star Wars, Star Trek, Stargate and Lord of the Rings.

7 Responses

  1. -Last weekend my family was watching an otherwise family-friendly movie on Tubi (a free, ad-supported service), and literally every ad break had an ad for some HIV anti-viral medicine. That alone wouldn’t be an issue, but the imagery in the video was non-stop shots of same-sex couples being physically affectionate. Knowing Netflix, they would have no problem inserting those sort of ads anywhere and everywhere.

  2. -I see why they want to do this economically, but watching ads defeats the benefit of watching something on Netflix. I mean, it does not entirely defeats the benefits… I study foreign languages and Netflix invests in buying the rights to many audio dubs and productions in other languages that I could otherwise not access.
    Like, if I check out DVDs of The Flash from the library, the audio is in English and Portuguese, but there is a Spanish track on Netflix… and I’ve been able to find a number of things in Mandarin that are Netflix that I otherwise would not find. Like, at my public library, there were only 4 Mandarin movies at one point that were either rated G or PG, but there are many more family shows on Netflix that are in Mandarin. I had tried watching PG-13 movies in Mandarin from my public library when I was studying Mandarin, but because I was missing social cues and innuendos from not being familiar with the culture and language I had to stop because there would suddenly be shocking scenes that I would normally skip or avoid a watching a movie altogether over.

  3. -I find it odd when people complain about ads when they’re consuming free or discounted content. It costs money to produce shows, and advertising and subscription fees are the primary ways to recoup that investment. So if you don’t want to be exposed to ads, you should be prepared to pay up. And remember, if you’re enjoying a product without paying for it, it’s because YOU are the product and advertisers are paying for access to your eyeballs. You’re paying either way, either in the form of money or attention. Pick your poison.

  4. -That’s why make sure my kids are for watching anything that’s not kid friendly material or that goes against biblical concepts. I make sure lgb pushing agenda clearly against the Bible homosexual sin. I also make sure he knows that yes he is a boy, will stay a boy and doesn’t need to buy into any if their agenda or crap and most importantly make sure that we have parental controls so the world doesn’t try to tell them otherwise as so many others as sadly believing (even some so called Christians/writers for instance…) our kids are so scarily getting messed up by this world’s agenda. And I for one am not going to be part of it..

  5. -So for some reason my comment cut me off short, but yes there’s a reason deleted Disney- even with parental controls never know what they would be pushing, especially lgb agenda. Homosexuality being a sin and not to be endorsed I make sure we stay clear of anything homosexuality as God intended Christians to do….

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