Attack on Titan, More Anime, May Be Pulled from Netflix Over Ad-Supported Tier

Nov 23, 2022 · 7


22 NHK programs, including several anime series like Attack on Titan, may soon disappear from Netflix due to the platform's new ad-supported subscriptions.

As reported by Anime News Network, NHK, the Japanese public broadcaster, is requesting that Netflix remove all of its titles due to its new ad-supported program. Netflix's "Basic with Ads" subscription tier includes four to five minutes of ads every hour for a slightly cheaper price than its ad-free plan. This contrasts with the distributor as NHK has a policy that forbids licensors to distribute their content if there is a possibility of creating a misconception that it's recommending or advertising a certain product or service.

According to a statement from Netflix, NHK was aware of and agreed to the ad-supported subscription plan but starting on Nov. 16, the streaming platform stopped showing ads for NHK programs. However, NHK reportedly complained that the ad-supported service was not what it assumed it would be. The broadcaster also said Netflix did not give an adequate explanation until just before the new plan launched.

NHK is currently airing Attack on Titan, Tsurune, Welcome to Demon School! Iruma-kun, To Your Eternity, Kingdom, Ojarumaru and Nintamo Rantarō. Other series that the broadcaster has aired before and is currently streaming on Netflix include Vinland Saga and Cardcaptor Sakura. Netflix and NHK have not released the list of 22 programs that would be affected by the potential removal but it's possible the aforementioned titles may be removed.

2022 has been a difficult year for Netflix. The popular streaming service laid off approximately 150 employees in May before another 300 were let go in June with the majority of the job cuts in the U.S. Netflix also revealed that it had seen a decrease of approximately 200,000 subscribers in its first quarter despite predicting an increase of 2.5 million subscribers. Although the platform indicated that password sharing and rival streaming services are a few of the reasons for the drop, the streaming service also increased the prices of its subscription plans for those in the U.S. and Canada in January. The standard plan currently costs $15.49 per month.

In an effort to maintain the number of current subscribers and entice new viewers, Netflix launched the "Basic with Ads" subscription on Nov. 3 in several countries including the U.S., the U.K., Canada, Japan, Mexico, Germany, Italy and Australia. These hourly ads play before and during content in 15- or 30-second lengths. Subscribers can only watch at a maximum of 720p resolution and cannot download content.

Netflix is currently engaged in an ongoing discussion with NHK.

Source: Anime News Network

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