By Lisa Richwine
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – A senior Netflix Inc executive said on Tuesday the company had no current plans to offer a streaming option that included advertising but declined to rule it out in the future.
“Never say never,” CFO Spencer Neumann said when asked if the company would change its long-standing position that its service should remain ad-free, adding “it’s not something in our plan right now.”
Some Wall Street analysts have urged Netflix, the world’s largest streaming service, to develop a lower-cost tier with advertising to boost revenue. The company’s pace of new subscribers has slowed in recent quarters, and Netflix shares have fallen nearly 43% this year.
Walt Disney Co on Friday announced it would offer an ad-supported streaming option for Disney+, joining AT&T’s WarnerMedia, Comcast Corp and others trying to attract customers who are willing to watch commercials to avoid paying a monthly fee.
For Netflix, “it’s not like we have religion against advertising,” Neumann said at the Morgan Stanley Technology, Media & Telecom Conference.
But he said the company was focused on building its current business for customers who want to watch movies and TV shows without commercials. “We think we have a great model, a subscription business that scales globally really well,” Neumann said.
“It’s hard for us to ignore that others are doing it, but for now it doesn’t make sense for us,” he added.
Neumann also said Netflix viewed this year as a “learning year” for its venture into mobile games. The company has offered 14 games to subscribers so far.
“This is something I hope is a big part of our business in a decade,” he said. “It is not going to be a big part of our business in the next 12 months.”
(Reporting by Lisa Richwine; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)