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nst
Expert 3

NOW ads - advice please

Hi all

Unlike me to not be posting about AppleTV!

Just a quick question please.  I used to have Cinema pass, Entertainment pass, and Boost pass.  Due to NOW's inability to make 5.1 work on AppleTV, I cancelled both my Cinema pass and Boost pass... and havent gone back since.

However, I was recently recommending a show to a friend of mine who also has a NOW Entertainment pass.  Hes not used it in a while (though kept paying for it as most seem to!) but when I asked him how he got on with the show he angrily responded that it was full of Ads, and he couldn't stand to sit through them.  He also stated, quite rightly that NOW shouldn't be putting Ads in shows when we are paying for on demand - after all Netflix, Disney+ etc etc dont.

I was really shocked to hear him say about the ads.  Since cancelling my boost pass, any shows I watch on the Entertainment pass have a few ads at the beginning - maybe 3 or 4, then a promo for Sky content.. then the show starts but crucially thats it - no more ads.   I assumed that those 3-4 ads I now get are as a result of cancelling my Boost pass.

According to my friend... He is not only getting Ads at the beginning, but also throughout the show which is something ive never seen before.

So the question to you all is.... really?? is this happening everywhere?  Im not expecting my 'boost' to still somehow be active as I know it isnt... but why would I only be getting Ads before the show and not during... and he is getting Ads all the way through.

The only thing I can think of is maybe this is app and platform specific??  My experience with NOW is via the AppleTV app primarily, and also via the Firestick app - neither of which show ads all the way through for me.  My friend was using the Xbox app, and then tried the LG WebOS app - both of which played ads all the way through.

Whats everyone else's experience with Ads here?  Is my friends experience correct... is mine...?  He is so pee'd off with it hes cancelling his Entertainment pass.

Although I knew ads were part of the non-boost experience.. im genuinely astonished to see his experience and I have to say if i suddenly found myself having to sit through ads throughout the show then I too would be cancelling my one remaining pass and leaving NOW altogether (as I believe many have done).

Its astonishing... tying this in with another conversation in another thread.. how totally ridiculous NOW are being - they ARE peers with Disney+, Amazon Prime and Netflix - and NONE of those on demand services include ads - why are we paying twice.... surely with Ads it enables the prices to be lowered as Netflix will be doing with an upcoming ad supported tier.  You certainly dont keep it full price AND put ads on - especially not so intrusively as to break up the episode you are watching.

13 Replies
gavs82008
Legend 5
Legend 5

@nst 

Not that I will be much help as I have kept my boost membership. So I have avoided all third party adverts on NOW. 

As much as I hate adverts, having boost keeps my sanity. Should we pay extra for 1080p and 5.1? Absolutely not!
It is how they have set it up for reasons only known to them. 

From what I recall, Disney in the US won't be decreasing the base price for adverts, in fact it will cost an extra $2-$4. No doubt it will be the same when they add adverts into the UK subscription. 

Personally I think that the entertainment and cinema memberships should be merged as one with the cost of £9.99. Which is unlikely to happen anytime soon if at all.

FYI that I do not work for NOW, just a NOW customer trying to help
Mark_Weinreb
Legend 5
Legend 5

@nst Netflix and Disney may not have ads at the moment, but within the next couple of months, both will be launching cheaper ad-supported options. So if you don’t want to see ads on either of those you pay more. Although if you already have subscriptions to either you won’t pay more.

As to your friend seeing ads during programs, are these during live broadcasts or on-demand? If live, we all just have to live with it. Unless, of course, Now put up an “intermission” banner during the adverts for anyone with Boost. 
Some programs are available on-demand within minutes of the live broadcast, so one option is to wait a few minutes then watch the program that way. I do that a lot.

Oh, and Amazon Prime also have FreeVee, which is ad-supported.

gavs82008
Legend 5
Legend 5

@Mark_Weinreb 

Looks like Disney+ won't reduce the price to introduce adverts. 

https://whatsondisneyplus.com/disney-ad-free-ad-support-tier-prices-announced/

Disney has announced details of its upcoming ad-supported tier for Disney+, in addition to an upcoming price rise for the regular ad-free tier.

The new ad-supported tier will launch in the United States on December 8th 2022 for $7.99 a month, which is the current price for Disney+.

While the Disney+ premium no-ads tier (the current tier) will go to $10.99 a month, or $109.99 a year

FYI that I do not work for NOW, just a NOW customer trying to help
commanda6
Legend 5
Legend 5

Hi @gavs82008 @nst 

From the details that Netflix announced recently with regard to their ad supported stuff, I'm afraid, Disney may need to re-evaluate that. While many people weren't happy about the idea of Netflix adding adverts. It seems as if they may be doing it in the best way possible, at least they appear to be serious about making it a proper value option

https://rxtvinfo.com/2022/ad-supported-netflix-to-arrive-in-november

the UK will also be amongst the first countries to get it. If they still provide HD and 5.1 audio when using the ad supported option, then I might give it a go. The main reason I have Netflix now is for the overseas content that they have. But as much as I love it. I'm not sure I can justify £10.99 a month for much longer. Especially when the likes of 'Rakuten Viki' provide a similar amount to what Netflix provides in terms of overseas content for less than half the price. 


I do not work for Now . I am simply a Now customer trying to help I am a Community Contributor This means that I know a lot about the service. But just like you I am still a customer. This means I cannot help you with issues that would involve looking into your account directly. A member of the now TV forum team or live chat will need to assist you with these issues.
gavs82008
Legend 5
Legend 5

@commanda6 

That is one saving grace that Disney has going for it right now. It's much cheaper than Netflix. 
Which to me is just way over priced. 

It's most certainly getting to a point where more households will be cancelling more services and rotating where needs be. 

Thankfully I am paying up to £5 for the premium Netflix as I got advised by a mate to sign up with a VPN via Turkey. So I did that and well it's fine for what I use it for. If I had to pay £15 or whatever it is in the UK, then it absolutely would be cancelled.

FYI that I do not work for NOW, just a NOW customer trying to help
nst
Expert 3

@Mark_Weinreb  certainly on demand.... not live.  I think we can all accept that watching NOW live will always have the ads.

Yes, Disney and Netflix are introducing ad-supported pricing tiers but thats too give their customers a choice to save money and take a cheaper subscription.

This is different to how NOW are behaving.  I could happily accept NOW showing ads, but instead of the normal £9.99 per month it should be £4.99.  It should be presented as a saving, not something that needs a premium paying for it.

I think boost as a concept is all well and good - but it should be for things like 4K, ATMOS, and multiple streams.  Paying a premium for 5.1 and 1080p is a nonsense in 2022.  Also Ads should not be part of boost but as I say a much cheaper tier for those who want to save money and sit through ads.

nst
Expert 3

@gavs82008 

Thanks for the reply.   I would have kept Boost as I was content (not happy) with £3 a month but still annoyed that it was full cost on the AppleTV though not providing 5.1.... but when it was increased to £5 a month it was too much for me and as a matter of principle I cancelled and took my Cinema pass with it.

My rationale is that in 2022 you cant really provide a 'premium' MOVIES service and not have it in HD and 5.1 as a minimum - and charging extra for the privilege seems wrong.

As has been discussed elsewhere, its fascinating where this is going to end up.  NOW cannot keep on doing this when Netflix and Disney+ provide a technically superior service for less and no adverts.  People will vote with their wallets and NOW's market share will evaporate.

 

Interestingly ive just sat down with my friend, and we both opened our NOW apps on the iPhone.  Although mine showed those 4 'dots' in the timeline (ads I assume) I was able to scrub through an episode and never saw an ad after the first batch.  He couldn't, and it would keep firing ads at him.  Maybe my boost cancellation never 'took'! though I certainly get ads at the beginning of the show.

RoyB
Legend

@nst 

We have Boost, and watching House of the Dragon, we got unskippable promos before the programme started (promo - about Now content, only prior to the programme proper; advert - about third party products and services, several breaks during the programme proper).

And a brief interpolation of a HotD show card, no more than a few frames, to mark where each set of ads would have been.

If you have cancelled Boost, you should certainly be getting ads on your Entertainment programmes; you probably have the opposite of the “I’ve paid for Boost and I’m still getting ads” issue, so I’d keep quiet if I were you; though if Now staffers are reading this, they are no doubt hurrying to fix this issue before we all want one 😛

We can go back and forth about what might be a fair price for a given streaming service; perhaps, content for content, you might like to compare what you can watch something on Now for, compared with the eye-watering amounts Amazon would charge for it episode by episode, rather than what Prime Video charge for a subscription to watch different content completely. Not to mention having the temerity to try to charge me to watch Ridley, when it’s free on the itv Hub (black mark, Just Watch!)

We all have our bail-out points; I’m sure Now are keeping a close eye on their churn and their revenue stream, and what their competitors charge.

But also, who among us is paying the headline price? Start cancelling your passes, and see the retention offers roll in; do Disney, Netflix, Apple or Amazon do that?

But it’s all about content; contrast two streaming providers, and mostly you’re comparing apples with oranges, when deciding your overall fruit budget 😛

Set a Payment PIN on your account so that no-one but you can buy memberships on it. Check your bank accounts monthly for any other unexpected payments to Now. That way you can at least nip them in the bud, while you and Now figure out whose fault they are.
redchiz1
Elite 2

I agree with @RoyB  (shock! horror!) and I have to say that it is really a matter of individual perception if you think it is great for Netflix etc. to offer a lesser service at a lower price, but not for NOW to offer a better one at a higher price. Isn't the outcome essentially the same? 

nst
Expert 3

It is but then it isnt.

Netflix always offered its current pricing with no adverts, and is introducing a CHEAPER option to enable customers to have a choice and pay LESS.

Sure, NOW does the same by having boost but the difference being instead of pay less than you were used to for a lesser service, NOW are asking us to pay more for the same, with no discount for lesser.

 

Personally, I find any on demand service peppered with non-skippable adverts to be a huge retrograde step and a massive turn-off.  My life before streaming was SkyQ and of course I always FFWD adverts in my recordings - its a way of life!  Then streaming came along, and I ditched SkyQ.  I was far happier with NOW as it was cheaper and no Ads... but that 'no ad' experience is in line with the other streamers i.e. Netflix and Amazon Prime and Disney+.

So sure, the world is changing - but personally I find unstoppable ads completely off-putting and much as its against my general ethos, I would just be pushed into "other means" of watching a show and cancel the subscription.

As a balancing point... I actually pay for All4+.  Ironically I dont mind the £30 a year for this as having ditched SkyQ - although I rarely watch any ITV content (who's ads are terribly obtrusive) I do watch a lot of C4's content and for the far nicer viewing experience I thought it was a price worth paying.  Bear in mind of course you cant compare this £30 to a years worth of boost being £60 as C4 is free to start with not £10 a month on top.

redchiz1
Elite 2

Yeah, but as has been said many times before, NOW are the only providers who are prepared to be flexible on price. I am currently paying £2 a month for Boost. And I doubt I will be paying it for a full year. 

nst
Expert 3

This is true.  

Actually, when I first took out the passes and gave up SkyQ, it was a Black Friday deal where I got 1 years of Movies and Entertainment for £99 (before boost was a thing) and this was of course a bargain.  That offer was never repeated... and I coasted along on those "im going to cancel" threats for a while.. and each time I clicked through to cancel id get another few months at a discounted rate.

Sadly, this eventually dried up and those discounted rates were not offered - this is the point where I had to take a stand and not pay £5 a month for boost and also lose the Movies pass too.

Looking again today, I have been offered 3 months of boost for £2 and 3 months of Cinema for £4.99.  So, the offers are back but as im so used to a non-boost and non-movies existence now I doubt ill take them up at the moment.

So the offers are indeed plenty.. but not all the time.  

redchiz1
Elite 2

You should get on to chat with a friendly agent some time, it's surprising what they can do.  😉