Products

Insider Intelligence delivers leading-edge research to clients in a variety of forms, including full-length reports and data visualizations to equip you with actionable takeaways for better business decisions.
Reports
In-depth analysis, benchmarks and shorter spotlights on digital trends.
Learn More
Forecasts
Interactive projections with 10k+ metrics on market trends, & consumer behavior.
Learn More
Charts
Proprietary data and over 3,000 third-party sources about the most important topics.
Learn More
Industry KPIs
Industry benchmarks for the most important KPIs in digital marketing, advertising, retail and ecommerce.
Learn More
Briefings
Client-only email newsletters with analysis and takeaways from the daily news.
Learn More
Analyst Access Program
Exclusive time with the thought leaders who craft our research.
Learn More

About Insider Intelligence

Our goal at Insider Intelligence is to unlock digital opportunities for our clients with the world’s most trusted forecasts, analysis, and benchmarks. Spanning five core coverage areas and dozens of industries, our research on digital transformation is exhaustive.
Our Story
Learn more about our mission and how Insider Intelligence came to be.
Learn More
Methodology
Rigorous proprietary data vetting strips biases and produces superior insights.
Learn More
Our People
Take a look into our corporate culture and view our open roles.
Join the Team
Contact Us
Speak to a member of our team to learn more about Insider Intelligence.
Contact Us
Newsroom
See our latest press releases, news articles or download our press kit.
Learn More
Advertising & Sponsorship Opportunities
Reach an engaged audience of decision-makers.
Learn More
Events
Browse our upcoming and past events, recent podcasts, and other featured resources.
Learn More
Podcasts
Tune in to eMarketer's daily, weekly, and monthly podcasts.
Learn More

Meta’s potential introduction of ad-free platforms in the EU could transform the digital landscape

The news: Meta is exploring the idea of introducing ad-free, subscription-based versions of Facebook and Instagram specifically for users in the EU, according to anonymous sources, reports The New York Times.

  • This move aims to offer users an alternative to the company’s ad-based services, which depend on data analysis.
  • The free, ad-supported versions of these platforms will still be available, and the pricing and release date for the paid versions remain uncertain.

Why it matters: If this happens, this could arguably be the biggest-ever change to how the company monetizes its platforms.

  • The EU has been at the forefront of data privacy regulations, challenging many tech giants on how they handle user information. With the 2018 enactment of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), the EU has set stringent data privacy standards.
  • Other regulations, including the Digital Services Act and Digital Markets Act, seek to protect online data, curb illicit content, and encourage competition among tech platforms. The DMA has already affected Meta’s Threads rollout.
  • Meta's contemplation of a paid service indicates a potential shift in how tech companies might adapt to these stringent regulations. The digital experience might differ between the US and Europe due to diverging government policies.

Implications for advertisers:

  • If a significant number of users opt for the paid, ad-free versions, advertisers might find their potential audience across Facebook and Instagram reduced. That could increase competition and costs for the remaining ad slots.
  • If return on ad spend declines for advertisers, it could naturally shift spending to other competitive platforms.
  • Marketers could start thinking about organic reach to get in front of their target audiences.

Our take: Meta's consideration to roll out subscription-based versions of its platforms is a clear indication of the transformative power of European regulations on global tech entities.

  • For nearly two decades, Meta has thrived on a business model centered on free access to its platforms, monetized through targeted advertising. This potential shift could be a strategic move to mitigate regulatory challenges, especially given Meta's history of hefty fines in the EU.
  • The introduction of a paid version isn't just about compliance; it's also about offering users a choice. Even if a small fraction of users opt for the paid versions, it could appease regulators by demonstrating Meta's commitment to user privacy and choice.
  • Regulations in Europe are reshaping the tech landscape, pushing companies like Meta to rethink their traditional business models.
  • If Meta's subscription model for the EU proves successful, we might see similar models emerge in other parts of the world, marking a significant shift in the global digital ecosystem.