It’s about time: Netflix’s new ad-supported tier officially arrives in the United States today. After years of refusing to offer an ad-supported tier, Netflix changed its mind (after declining subscriber numbers) and the less expensive subscription is now widely available after a trial phase.
There are several key things to know about the new plan, which is called Netflix Basic with Ads. Here’s a rundown covering price, key information on what you get and don’t get, and more.
Netflix Basic with Ads costs $7/month in the United States. This is the price for new subscribers and people with an existing plan who want to convert.
A chart posted on Netflix’s website provides a breakdown of the company’s various plans, including Basic with Ads ($7/month), Basic ($10/month), Standard ($15.50/month) and Premium ($20 $/month).
What do you take?
Netflix Basic with Ads is an ad-supported subscription that gives subscribers access to the Netflix catalog (excluding certain titles) in up to 720p resolution. This plan allows playback on one supported phone, tablet, computer or TV at a time. The subscription also includes access to Netflix Games (which have no ads or microtransactions). The ability to download titles is not supported with the new Netflix Basic with Ads subscription.
Why are some titles unavailable?
According to Netflix, some TV shows and movies aren’t available with the new ad-based tier due to “licensing restrictions.” Viewers will see a “lock icon” when they encounter a title that is not available through the new subscription tier. Netflix had to acquire new rights and renegotiate deals for the ad-based tier, and that means about 5%-10% of the programming won’t be there at launch, Netflix told Deadline.
A full list of locked movies/TV shows is not yet available, but that will become clear soon with membership starting today.
How about these ads?
The ads will appear before or during “most” TV shows and movies, Netflix said. Viewers can expect about four minutes of ads per hour, although Netflix said this will vary by title. However, ads will not appear on “Kids” profiles, Netflix said. Netflix ads cannot be skipped or fast forwarded, but members still have the ability to pause during an ad.
Some of Netflix’s big-ticket movies and TV series, like Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery, will only run a pre-roll ad and won’t pause for a commercial break in the middle of the movie.
“We’re going to try to keep that kind of cinematic model there,” Netflix’s Greg Peters told Deadline.
Ads on Netflix may be personalized, the company said, so you may see ads based on the type of content you’re watching or related to information you’ve previously shared with Netflix. Once you sign up for Netflix Basic with ads or convert an existing subscription, the streaming company will ask for your date of birth and gender. Netflix said it uses this information, along with “general location information” from your IP address, to serve you tailored ads.
According to Ampere AnalyticsNetflix’s new ad-based tier could bring in $8.5 billion a year by 2027 through subscription fees and ad revenue.
Netflix’s new ad-based tier sees the company following the lead of HBO Max, Peacock and others that have ad-supported membership options. Disney+, meanwhile, will launch its own tier of ads in December, priced at $8/month.
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