Despite roaring successes such as Stranger Things season four and Dahmer – Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story, Netflix subscribers are on a downward trend and the firm has laid off 300 staff. It isn’t really a surprise, then, that the streaming service is planning to launch a cheaper, ad-supported plan.
With many wanting to save as much money as possible at the moment, it makes sense and should tempt plenty to switch (or sign up) and accept they’ll have to watch ads in exchange for a lower monthly price. The move comes shortly after Disney+ introduced an ad-supported tier.
When will Netflix’s Basic with Ads tier launch?
Netflix has now confirmed that the Basic with Ads tier will launch in the US and UK on 3 November 2022 at 4pm GMT/9am PT.
This is an earlier timeline than when co-founder and co-CEO Reed Hastings first floated the idea back in April, suggesting that it could be at least a year or two before it launched.
Considering that Netflix’s stock price has been dropping, an accelerated timeline does make sense. It would also pit the new tier directly against a similar new offering from Disney+, which is estimated to launch just before then.
The new tier will be run in partnership with tech giant, Microsoft.
What countries will the Netflix ad-supported tier launch in?
The new tier is currently confirmed for twelve countries. They are:
USUKAustraliaBrazilCanada FranceGermanyItalyJapanKoreaMexico SpainHow much will the Netflix Basic with Ads tier cost?
The new plan will cost $7.99/£4.99 per month. European pricing varies by country, with pricing starting from €4.99 per month in Germany.
Here is the full breakdown of pricing from Netflix’s investor call:
The entire point of an ad-supported plan is to be able to offer a cheaper subscription price, and that ads will not be shown to subscribers on the Basic, Standard or Premium plans.
The current prices for Netflix are as follows:
Netflix Basic – $9.99/£6.99 Netflix Standard – $15.49/£10.99 Netflix Premium – $19.99/£15.99
Netflix plans received a price hike earlier this year, with nearly every plan jumping by a couple of dollars/pounds.
What will the ads on Netflix look like?
Netflix has stated that there will be four to five minutes of adverts per hour, each lasting between 15 and 30 seconds. Here is an example of one:
There will be a mix of pre-roll and mid-roll ads – although allegedly new Netflix movie releases will only include pre-roll ads. Netflix has not confirmed the frequency of these ads, but in a screenshot we can see that at least two pre-roll ads are stacked.
Netflix has stated that ads will have “broad targeting capabilities by country and genre”, and also be appropriate for the age-rating of the content playing. From what we’ve seen so far, we know that there will be ads for cosmetics, as well as hair products.
What quality will the streaming be on the Netflix Basic with Ads tier?
Following the launch of the Basic with Ads tier, Netflix will upgrade the quality of Basic streaming to 720p/HD – previously this was capped at 480p/SD. This is the same quality that Basic with Ads will have. Users will also not have simultaneous streams available.
What shows and films will the Netflix ad-supported tier include?
Netflix co-CEO Ted Sarandos spoke in a second-quarter earnings report, confirming that the library on the ad-supported tier will be different to that of the other tiers. Namely, it will be missing some shows and films.
He said: “There are some things that [wouldn’t be included] – that we are in conversation with the studios on – but if we launched the product today, the members in the ad tier would [still] have a great experience. And we will clear some additional content, but certainly not all of it.”
Netflix has not clarified which content will be missing. The Wall Street Journal confirmed that Netflix Originals like Stranger Things will be included. We assume that it will be licensed content from other studios, such as Friends (in the UK), or Breaking Bad.
The specific details may well depend on what Netflix negotiates with every individual studio.
As more information becomes available, we’ll update this article. In the meantime, find out which of the current Netflix plan is right for you.