Netflix’s New Ad Tier Is Here. What That Means for Viewers

Netflix’s new ad tier is set to launch in the U.S. at 9 a.m. PT on Thursday, introducing commercials to the service for the first time in its 15-year history. Starting Thursday, the ad plan will be available in Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Korea, Mexico, the U.K., and the U.S. It will then launch in Spain on Nov. 10.

Netflix's New Ad Tier Is Here. What That Means for Viewers

How much will Netflix’s plan with ads cost?

At $6.99 per month, Netflix Basic with Ads costs less than half of Netflix’s $15.49 Standard plan and almost a third less than its ad-free $9.99 Basic plan.

How many ads will be in the new plan?

In exchange for that lower price tag, subscribers who switch to the ad-supported plan will have to watch an average of five minutes of ads per hour that are set to play before and during movies and TV shows. At launch, ads will be 15 to 30 seconds in length.

During an October press call, Netflix chief operating officer and product chief Greg Peters said that new movies coming to Netflix “will just have a pre-roll” of ads followed by an uninterrupted viewing experience in order to “preserve that cinematic model.” He added that movies that have “been on the service for a while” will have a more “traditional” mix of pre-roll and mid-roll ads.

What are some drawbacks to the new plan?

There are a few other additional drawbacks to the ad tier. Like its ad-free Basic plan, Basic with Ads has a lower video quality than Netflix’s Standard and Premium plans. Basic with Ads subscribers also won’t be able to download series and films to their devices for offline viewing, and won’t have access to about 5% to 10% of Netflix’s content catalog due to licensing restrictions. Peters said in October that the missing titles will be “a very small minority of viewing” that the company will work to reduce over time.

Popular shows currently not available with Basic with Ads include Arrested Development, Friday Night Lights, The Good Place, House of Cards, Knight Rider, The Last Kingdom, The Magicians, New Girl, Peaky Blinders, Queen of the South, The Sinner, and Uncoupled, Variety reports. Movies include 28 Days, Blue Jasmine, The Butler, Casino Royale, The Hateful Eight, The Imitation Game, Made of Honor, Man on a Ledge, The Mist, Morbius, Oblivion, Phantom Thread, Quantum of Solace, Rambo, Robin Hood, Skyfall, and Steve Jobs.

How do I change my Netflix plan?

To change your Netflix plan to Basic with Ads, hover over your profile icon in the top right corner of Netflix’s home screen, and then select “Account” in the dropdown menu that appears. Next, click “Change plan” in the “Plan Details” section of the page and select Basic with Ads.

What are some alternatives to Netflix’s plan with ads?

Netflix’s ad tier is cheaper than those of a number of its fellow streamers. Disney+ and Hulu’s ad plans will both be $7.99 per month when Disney+’s ad tier launches in December, while HBO Max with ads is $9.99 per month.

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