Meta Platforms, the parent company of popular social media platforms, is reportedly mulling over the introduction of ad-free subscription options for its users in Europe, according to sources familiar with the matter. This move comes as the company seeks to adapt to stringent European Union (EU) regulations that could potentially restrict its capacity to personalize advertisements without explicit user consent, posing a threat to its primary revenue stream.
Multiple pricing models were under consideration, but the most viable option appears to be a 10 euro ($10.49) per month plan, slated for implementation in the forthcoming months. The decision to offer paid subscriptions aligns with Meta’s strategy to navigate the evolving regulatory landscape, while sustaining its advertising business.
In comparison, industry rivals such as Netflix offer a streaming subscription at 7.99 euros, Alphabet’s YouTube Premium is priced at 12 euros, and Spotify’s Premium service comes in at 11 euros. For mobile users, Meta’s paid subscription fee is set to rise to approximately 13 euros, factoring in commissions levied by Apple’s and Google’s app stores, as confirmed by a reliable source.
Earlier this year, Meta encountered a hefty fine of 390 million euros from Ireland’s Data Privacy Commissioner. The company was also mandated to seek user consent within the European Union before enabling businesses to target advertisements. A spokesperson for Meta emphasized the company’s dedication to furnishing “free services supported by personalized ads,” while concurrently exploring avenues to comply with evolving regulatory mandates.
Meta Platforms, Ireland’s Data Protection Commission, and the European Commission have all been contacted for commentary; however, none have issued a response to Reuters at the time of this report.
In summary, Meta Platforms is actively evaluating the introduction of a subscription-based model in Europe to adhere to EU regulations. This would empower users with the choice between a free, ad-supported experience and a paid, ad-free alternative, thereby safeguarding the company’s advertising revenue stream amidst regulatory shifts.