Cheaper Netflix is finally here!
After years of watching the price of streaming TV subscriptions go up, we’re glad to report that something is actually getting a little bit cheaper.
The video streaming giant unveiled specifics on its new ad-supported subscription tier, which goes live on November 3, in a recent news release.
Let’s walk through what you need to know and answer some of the questions you might have.
Ad-Supported Netflix: 5 Things To Know
Netflix has a name for its new ad-supported subscription: “Basic with Ads.”
Here’s what we know about the new offering so far.
1. How Much Will It Cost?
The “Basic with Ads” tier will cost $6.99 per month in the United States. That’s $3 per month less than the ad-free basic subscription and as much as $13 per month less than the more expansive subscription offerings from Netflix.
|Streaming Service||Ad-Supported Monthly Price||Ad-Free Monthly Price|
|Disney+||$7.99 (beginning Dec. 8)||$7.99 ($10.99 beginning Dec. 8)|
2. When Will It Be Available?
Netflix will begin offering ad-supported subscriptions on Thursday, November 3, at noon EDT.
This beats Disney+ to market with its new ad-supported subscription by more than a month. Being faster to market and cheaper is a good combination for Netflix as it tries to compete with Disney for budget-conscious streamers.
3. How Bad Will the Ads Be?
If you’re like me, one of your chief concerns when considering Netflix as an ad-supported product is whether you’ll be flooded with annoying commercials that are poorly placed in the content.
Netflix shed some light on its plans for this in the news release: The ad-supported version of Netflix will average 4-5 minutes of ads per hour. Netflix says these ads will be either 15 or 30 seconds in length and will play before and during shows and films.
Netflix says it will offer advertisers the option to target audiences based on things like location and content type. That, much like what you see during typical web browsing, will create a more curated advertisement experience.
4. Will This Offering Be the Same As Netflix Basic?
You’re probably wondering: “Is this just Netflix Basic with commercials thrown into the content?”
Eventually, that will mostly be the case. But there are still some issues to be smoothed over with Netflix’s studio partners.
According to a report from the Wall Street Journal, Netflix is still in negotiations with studios like Disney, Warner Bros. and Sony regarding running ads during the content they provide for the service.
That could mean that some content from these studios could initially be excluded from the ad-supported tier of Netflix, though no specific exclusions have been announced.
Outside of the lingering content questions, there are a few differences you may see from the ad-free version of Netflix Basic.
The Netflix news release offered a nice breakdown of what is the same and what’s a bit different:
- What stays the same: A wide variety of great TV shows and movies; personalized viewing experience; available on a wide range of TV and mobile devices; change or cancel your plan at any time.
- What’s different: Video quality up to 720p/HD (now for both our Basic with Ads and Basic plans); average of 4 to 5 minutes of ads per hour; a limited number of movies and TV shows won’t be available due to licensing restrictions, which we’re working on; no ability to download titles.
The two items that stick out to me are the “no ability to download” and the licensing issues with some movies and TV shows. It will be interesting to see how much the latter actually impacts the depth of the content library, which is typically one of Netflix’s strong points.
5. Will This Impact Existing Netflix Subscriptions?
No, at least not for now.
Netflix says that the pricing and offerings that users have now will not change with the debut of this ad-supported tier. However, you could opt to “level down” to the ad-supported tier if you’d like to save some money.
For reference, here’s what each tier of Netflix offers right now.
This announcement brings mostly welcome news for people who are looking for a cheaper way to enjoy Netflix.
The price point of $7 per month is reasonable and in line with competitors that are offering ad-supported subscriptions. And the news that this will be available on November 3 in the United States means we’re very close to getting to test this out.
Of course, the downside to the cheaper price is that you don’t get multiple concurrent streams or the best high-definition available as you would with a Standard or Premium plan.
Will you be trying the new ad-supported version of Netflix? Let us know what you think in the Clark.com community.