I was catching up on some episodes of Parks & Recreation last night on my Netflix connected XBox (awesome). All of the TV shows on Netflix have zero commercials. I find this interesting because the actual reason I pay $9/month for Netflix is not because of it’s commercial free content, but because I get to watch TV on my schedule. It’s convenient. Regular TV doesn’t allow this. In fact I’d still pay $9/month if every TV show and movie had commercial breaks in it.
So why doesn’t Netflix offer a free version of it’s service with commercials in the TV shows and movies? It can’t be too difficult to monetize this enough to earn at least $9/user/month. Or let’s say someone has to watch at least 4 hours of programming a month for them to break even with advertising – well, just bill them $9 if they watch less than 4 hours in programming per month.
Consumers like free. We like to enjoy entertainment on OUR schedule. We have accepted that ads are part of life.