Should Netflix have Channel Add-ons like Hulu and Prime?

Starz Play, Showtime Hulu Add-on, Amazon HBO add-on, Cinemax

Netflix’s two core competitors have both successfully launched add-ons to their video services over the past couple of years and Netflix hasn’t. Is Netflix missing a trick and potentially losing millions every year or are they creating an exclusive and most importantly, a simple home of their content?

Note: This is an opinion article.

What the heck are add-ons?

In case you’re not familiar with add-ons, let’s bring you up to speed. Amazon and Hulu are the two most prolific streaming services which offer add-ons. Add-ons are additional subscriptions that sit on top of your normal subscription. For example, a Hulu subscription sets you back about $7.99. Want to watch HBO shows on top of that? You’ll have to subscribe to the HBO channel addon for $14.99 a month.

Hulu offers add-on channels for Showtime, HBO, and Cinemax. Amazon goes even further with Starz, HBO, Cinemax, Lifetime, Hallmark, UMC, Britbox, Sundance, PBS, Boomerang and frankly, more than we care to list right here.

There are pros and cons to add-on channels so we’re going to take you through them and then we’d invite you to add your opinion in the comments down below.

Why Netflix Should Get Add-on Channels

The biggest reason for add-on channels? More content! Add-ons open up a brand new portal to content previously locked elsewhere. In the case of the above-mentioned channels, most of their content isn’t available on Netflix. HBO’s content remains completely off of Netflix, Cinemax content left Netflix several years ago and Starz only has their older stuff on Netflix.

The amount of devices Netflix is compatible with fair outnumbers that of either Hulu or Amazon. That means there are significantly more devices to watch these add-ons on. Add to that, if you only have a Netflix subscription and want HBO, you’ll need two additional subscriptions.

Netflix’s customer support is fantastic. We’re not saying Hulu’s or Amazon’s customer support is poor as that’d be an outright lie. It’s just that Netflix support often goes that one step further to help.

Why Netflix Shouldn’t Get Add-ons Channels

Add-ons make your streaming life complicated. The whole point of streaming in the first place is to save money and if you’re having to subscribe to multiple services, you may end up spending more than the cable subscription you had in the first place. This speaks more add-ons as a whole but it’s still a point worth making.

Netflix is super simple at the moment. There are a few streaming plans which regard to the streaming quality and number of screens. Adding multiple subscriptions and tiered levels makes life potentially confusing.

Our Take

Our view is that channels makes sense for Netflix and we’re really surprised Netflix hasn’t ventured into this space yet. It’s a no-brainer to allow content creators to make more money and give viewers more choice. On balance, it may make the service complicated but given Netflix’s main competitors push in this sector, Netflix should catch up.

Will Add-ons come to Netflix?

As of right now, Netflix has announced no plans for add-ons to be added to Netflix.

What do you think? Should Netflix have add-ons added to its service? Let us known in the comments.

Kasey Moore

Kasey Moore is the founder and editor-in-chief of What's on Netflix. Kasey launched the site in 2013 after growing frustration with finding content on Netflix. He has an in depth understanding of the release cycles for Netflix and has developed tools to make navigating Netflix easier. Resides in Norwich in the UK.