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NHK Asks Netflix to Remove its Titles Due to Ad-Supported Subscriptions

posted on by Adriana Hazra
Netflix removes advertisements for NHK programming, continues to stream titles

The Japan Times reported on Thursday that NHK has asked Netflix to suspend distribution of all of its 22 titles after Netflix's launch of its new advertisement-supported subscription tier. Netflix removed advertisements for NHK programming on Wednesday and continues to stream the titles.

According to The Japan Times, Netflix made a statement saying NHK had previously agreed to ad-supported streaming. NHK complained the ad-supported service was not what it had assumed it would be, and that Netflix did not explain the service to NHK until just before the service launched.

NHK's policies under its internet-related service standards forbid licensors of its content to distribute said content if there is a possibility of creating a misconception that it is recommending or advertising a certain product or service.

Netflix stated it is continuing discussions with the network.

Netflix launched its new advertisement-supported "Basic with Ads" subscription tier on November 3 in the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Brazil, Spain, France, Germany, Italy, and Australia. Netflix previously stated that a limited number of its content will not be available in this tier due to licensing issues, which it said it was "working on."

The new subscription tier has four to five minutes of advertisements per hour, and a maximum of 720p resolution for content, with no downloading of content for later viewing. The ads play before and during content in 15- or 30-second lengths. Advertisers can target their ads by country and genre.

Netflix stated in April it was considering adding an ad-supported streaming tier at a lower cost. Netflix made the announcement after stating it had a decrease of about 200,000 subscribers from January to March — far below the company's earlier projection of a gain of 2.5 million subscribers. This was the service's first drop in subscriptions in a decade.

Netflix announced in June that it was laying off 300 employees from its workforce. The Hollywood Reporter stated that the layoffs constituted around 3% of the company's current workforce. Netflix laid off about 150 employees, mostly based in the United States, in May.

The streaming service implemented a price increase in subscription plans in the U.S. and Canada earlier this year.

Source: Japan Times

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