Netflix customers lost their damn minds recently when it was revealed the company was testing out ads that would run before selected videos. CEO Reed Hastings was quick to try to quell the outrage, saying the company would only show trailers and previews for other original Netflix programming, à la HBO. Still, that wasn’t enough for some, for whom the idea of an unskippable 30-second teaser of Marco Polo was anathema to their entire way of life. (To be fair, the idea of having to watch even 30 seconds of Marco Polo is a pretty frightening prospect.) Concurrently, it was revealed the streaming service would be raising prices in the U.K., literally causing British subscribers to shed the pounds in horror.
As a result, Exstreamist decided to conduct an informal poll of 100 Netflix users, and the results were overwhelming: 79 percent of Netflix subscribers would rather give the company more money than have to sit through any damn commercials. The site asked five questions, including: whether customers would cancel the service if commercials began; if they would rather pay more or have ads; the amount they’d be willing to pay to avoid ads; how much advertising would be okay before they cancelled; and if ads would be a fair trade in exchange for thousands more movies and TV shows.
In addition to the nearly four out of five who would rather pay more than deal with ads, more than half said they would cancel the instant third-party ads appeared (in-house advertising was slightly more acceptable). 44 percent said they’d be willing to pay $1-3 more, with notably less willing to go above $4. So, rest easy, Reed Hastings, because apparently Netflix users are willing, apropos of no request on your end, to pay more for what they already get. Now that’s a stable business model.