Netflix is going to reward you for binge-watching — here's how

Netflix app on a tablet
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It’s no secret that Netflix prefers it when you binge watch its shows, though not everyone does. Now it sounds like Netflix has a plan to reward people who do watch multiple episodes in a single sitting. But only if you’re subscribed to Netflix with ads.

Netflix is offering a kind of “four for the price of three deal” from sometime in Q1 2024. Simply put, every time someone watches three consecutive episodes, the fourth will be delivered without any ads. 

Netflix announced this new “binge ad” initiative in a blog post, commemorating the first anniversary of the streamer’s ad-supported tier. Details about this new feature are scant but the use of the word “consecutive” suggests that you’ll have to stick with the same show the duration — and switching to something else will restart the countdown.

It’s just one of many changes Netflix has implemented in its ad-supported tier over the past 12 months, no doubt in response to the increasing number of ad-filled streaming subscriptions on the market. This includes upping the basic resolution to 1080p, offering two concurrent streams and offline downloads — apparently available by the end of this week.

According to Netflix all Netflix with ads subscribers will be able to download shows and movies from the library — something the competition doesn’t allow. You can probably expect that to change in the coming months.

15 million people are subscribed to Netflix’s ad-supported tier, and sweetening the pot like this will likely help pull in more people. Nobody likes ads, but considering how expensive streaming is getting it may be a necessary compromise to legally access your favorite shows and movies. 

Netflix will be expanding the kinds of commercials you see going forward, though, so bear that in mind. That includes sponsorship deals on certain shows, as seen with the latest season of Love is Blind. Subscribers will also be able to incorporate QR codes into their ads in the US from the start of next year.  

In any case, if you’re already a fan of binge-watching, the number of ads you see will actually be decreasing. So not only do you save money, you could potentially see up to 25% fewer ads in the future.. It’s not as good as having no ads, but it’s certainly better than nothing.

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Tom Pritchard
UK Phones Editor

Tom is the Tom's Guide's UK Phones Editor, tackling the latest smartphone news and vocally expressing his opinions about upcoming features or changes. It's long way from his days as editor of Gizmodo UK, when pretty much everything was on the table. He’s usually found trying to squeeze another giant Lego set onto the shelf, draining very large cups of coffee, or complaining about how terrible his Smart TV is.