Salem Radio Network News Saturday, December 2, 2023


Meta explores options to charge EU users for ad-free subscriptions – source

By Supantha Mukherjee and Jyoti Narayan

(Reuters) -Meta Platforms is exploring options to introduce ad-free subscription plans for Instagram and Facebook users in Europe, a person familiar with the matter said on Tuesday.

Several pricing plans were discussed, but the 10 euro ($10.49) per month plan is the most feasible, the source said.

The proposal is an attempt by Meta to circumvent European Union regulations that threaten to curb its ability to personalize ads for users without their consent and hurt its major revenue source.

Offering a choice between a free, ad-supported plan and a paid subscription might lead to users opting for the former, helping Meta comply with regulations without affecting its ad business.

Meta’s new plan is more expensive than Netflix’s streaming subscription, which charges 7.99 euros for a basic plan.

On mobile devices, the price for a single account would jump to roughly 13 euros because Meta would factor in commissions charged by Apple’s and Google’s app stores, the Wall Street Journal reported.

The social media company was fined 390 million euros earlier this year by Ireland’s Data Privacy Commissioner and told it cannot use the so-called “contract” legal basis to send users ads based on their online activity.

Meta subsequently said it intended to ask users in the EU for their consent before allowing businesses to target ads in order to address evolving regulatory requirements in the region.

A Meta spokesperson said the company believes in “free services which are supported by personalized ads”, but is exploring “options to ensure we comply with evolving regulatory requirements”.

Meta, Ireland’s Data Protection Commission and the European Commission did not respond to Reuters requests for comment.

The New York Times first reported that Meta was considering paid versions of Facebook and Instagram with no ads for users residing in the EU, without giving details about how much they would cost.

($1 = 0.9536 euros)

(Reporting by Supantha Mukherjee in Stockholm and Jyoti Narayan in Bengaluru; Editing by Sonia Cheema and Arun Koyyur)


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