It’s no secret that Netflix subscription prices have been steadily rising over the past few years. While cheaper services are available, Netflix has maintained its relatively high prices. But in mid-2022, the company finally unveiled plans to offer a cheaper tier backed with ads. Called Basic with ads, the plan is more affordable than existing plans, but not without a few tradeoffs.
Here’s what you need to know about Netflix’s ad-supported plan, including price, countries available, features, and launch date.
Netflix’s Basic with Ads: What’s the Difference?
Netflix’s Basic with Ads plan is essentially a cheaper alternative to the existing Basic plan. It contains 15 or 30 second ads and plays before and during the content. It has not been officially specified how many ads are shown per hour, but expect to watch an average of four to five minutes of ads per hour, according to Netflix.
If you run the numbers, it turns out that at best, Netflix will show eight 30-second ads or a maximum of 20 15-second ads per hour. Remember, we’re dealing with averages here, as the four to five minutes is also Netflix’s estimated average hourly ad duration.
If the estimates shock you, you’ll be surprised to know it’s not out of the norm. a 2021 report from MediaRadar shows that Netflix’s competitors with ad-supported tiers such as HBO Max, Hulu, Peacock, Discovery+ and Paramount+ show between eight and 23 ads per hour.
Aside from the price, Basic with ads also comes out with 720p (HD) streaming like Netflix’s existing Basic plan. However, you can’t download titles for offline viewing, and you can’t access specific movies and TV shows that Netflix says are due to licensing restrictions.
Like the Basic plan, you can binge-watch titles on mobile devices, TV, and other Netflix-supported platforms. While the company hasn’t specified at the time of writing how many people can watch Netflix Basic with ads per account at the same time, it’s safe to assume the plan only allows one screen at a time. A similar limit is available in the basic Basic plan.
How Much Does Netflix’s Basic With Ads Cost?
If you were expecting a free video streaming subscription from Netflix, look elsewhere. Basic with ads costs $6.99 per month in the US ($6.99 in Australia, $5.99 in Canada, and £4.99 in the UK). That’s $3 cheaper than Netflix’s $9.99 a month basic subscription. So if price determines the best Netflix plan for you, Basic with Ads is for you.
When will Netflix’s ad-supported tier launch?
Netflix’s ad-supported subscription will officially launch in November 2022. It will be available for the first time in Canada on November 1 at 9am PT, followed by the US and UK on November 3 at 9am PT (4pm GMT) and on November 4 in other supported areas. Unfortunately, the plan will not be available in all countries and territories where Netflix is supported at launch.
Basic with Ads will only be available in 12 countries to begin with. The selected countries are Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Spain, UK and USA.
All is not lost, however, as the streaming company is expected to introduce Basic with Ads in more countries as time goes on. Once launched, you can sign up for Netflix Basic with Ads through the usual process.
Should You Get Netflix Basic With Ads?
Being cheap doesn’t mean value for money. And if you’re wondering whether Netflix’s ad-supported level is worth a try, think twice. First, as mentioned, Basic with ads is only $3 cheaper than the Basic plan. For less, it has additional limitations such as the inability to download titles and, most importantly, a limited number of TV shows and movies.
Add in the average of four to five minutes of ads per hour and the $3 savings isn’t very convincing. Plus, Netflix’s ad-supported subscription at $6.99 per month is undoubtedly not the cheapest. Discovery+, Peacock and Paramount+ have ad-supported subscriptions of $4.99. Some even have free plans that don’t require a credit card. But if you appreciate Netflix’s original programming and would like to get it for less, Basic with Ads is your go-to plan.