When Netflix's cheaper ad-supported tier launches next year, subscribers may find themselves unable to access some of the service's titles available on its regular plan. As Deadline notes, Netflix co-CEO and Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos has admitted during the company's most recent earnings call that the upcoming subscription option will not include all of its licensed content at launch. It will be missing shows and movies from both US and international studios and distributors, unless the company can successfully (and quickly) convince them to change the deal they originally agreed to.
Netflix is in talks with studios to amend their deals and be able to make their shows available for streaming alongside ads. Based on a previous Wall Street Journal report, Netflix is renegotiating its deals with Warner Bros. (the studio behind You), Universal (the producer of Russian Doll) and Sony Pictures Television (producer of Cobra Kai). The service will reportedly have to renegotiate the terms for some of the older shows it carries, as well, including Breaking Bad.
Sarandos said during the earnings call:
"Today, the vast majority of what people watch on Netflix, we can include in the ad-supported. There’s some things that don’t and we’re in conversations with the studios on, but if we launched the product today, members in the ad-tier would have a great experience. We will clear some additional content but certainly not all of it but don’t think it’s a material holdback for the business."
In the same call, Netflix also admitted that it lost nearly 1 million subscribers in the second quarter of 2022. It still turned a $1.44 billion net profit and expects to add a net 1 million subscribers in the next quarter, but it's hoping that some of the measures it's taking will help it grow its userbase yet again. The ad-supporter tier it's launching with Microsoft early next year could help Netflix grow in markets where there's strong ad spending.