A few years ago, when Peacock launched, they offered a few seasons of The Office for free, but to view the whole series, you had to upgrade to a paid plan.

At the time, I thought that was a pretty genius maneuver to get people hooked on something and then charge them for the rest.

Well, it seems I was not alone.

Recently, people have begun to notice that if they don't pay for a premium Netflix subscription, they may lose access to some films and TV shows.


Netflix's website says that's due to licensing—which makes a lot of sense.

As of February 2024, Netflix offers three main subscription tiers: Standard with Ads, Standard, and Premium. The Standard with Ads plan is priced at $7 per month, the Standard plan at $15.49 per month, and the Premium plan at $23 per month.

Each plan varies in terms of features such as the number of screens you can watch on simultaneously and the video quality, with options ranging from standard definition to ultra-high definition video quality.

This summer, when Netflix and its competitors added ad-based subscription plans, it was supposed to give people access to their content at more affordable prices. But you cannot just insert advertisements into any movie or TV show.

When film and TV shows were aired on traditional broadcasts, there were different agreements that had to be made. And there were different residual scales that had to be paid when those movies aired.

We've joked that streaming is just becoming cable, and my bet is that the studios that make these shows and movies want to have deals that pay similar to what it would be to show them on TV, especially with ad-supported revenue in place.

I wouldn't be surprised if we see Netflix dealing with this every time they add a recent release to their catalog until they can get a new licensing deal that covers all their tiers. And that might be more expensive, so they may just keep pushing you to upgrade.

Another way Netflix could use this is the Peacock strategy, which would be to incentivize those at the bottom to pay more to access more content.

This is all breaking, so we'll try to keep you updated.