At the same time, don't count on many of the 75 million subscribers in the U.S. and Canada to immediately switch to an advertising-supported service, when available.
Those subscribers are projected to amount to 20 million to 25 million. (And remember, another factor is that another 30 million or so in the U.S. and Canada are currently getting it free via password sharing, according to the company.)
The big news confirms many years of media and TV analysts touting assurances that Netflix would certainly start an advertising option -- at some point.
Can you feel that zinger now? "Told you so!" Ah -- it feels like a hard won dessert after a big meal.
But pricing could be important. If you are paying $15.49 for their most basic service, a Netflix advertising option at $4.99 could be a strong move. That $10 difference could allow hard-pressed consumers to use one or two other streaming services.
Disney+'s decision to start up an advertising-supported option will also be confirmation that an advertising option can be a good idea in the streaming world.
And don't forget that HBO Max, derived from long-time advertising-free network HBO, is also offering an advertising option. How many TV analysts were in an uproar about that?
Perhaps the biggest transition will be for marketers who love the idea of expanded streaming inventory in light of many limited advertising-time options -- just four to six minutes an hour in many cases.
Also, this is not not just for traditional heavy TV users, but marketers who can now target younger TV consumers who have been light traditional TV users.
Of course, that could mean other challenging issues, like dealing with a still-high average $40 to $50 cost-per-thousand viewers (CPM).
No matter. It gives marketers some room to achieve much-needed TV reach that has been eroding dramatically on linear TV networks.
Also, considering all the bad press Netflix has seen over a most recent 72-hour period, its TV shows continue to achieve dominant viewing levels -- much higher than its competition.
For example, in March, Nielsen's “Gauge” index had Netflix with 6.6% share of total day persons age two-plus viewing time. By way of comparison, Hulu was at a 3.3% share, followed by Amazon Prime Video at 2.3% and Disney+ with a 1.8% share.
Add in that Netflix continues to maintain its TV and movie production spending -- which was at $17 billion last year -- with a trending line that will meet or exceed that this year.
And if Netflix can make the advertising option work, and get to an estimated $1 billion to $2 billion in ad revenue a year, that would be a good thing.
So this all shows Netflix isn't going away. The ad fix is in. And all media analysts can now rest easy. Drop the zinger; take the cannoli.