After months of waiting, Netflix's ad-supported tier is finally here. And we now know its pricing, which may not be the huge price-cut that some might have expected based on other services offering similar pricing. That said, it does make some sense.
Netflix Basic with Ads, a new $6.99 per month tier (£4.99 in the UK, CA$5.99 in Canada, and AU$6.99 in Australia) it debuted in the US on November 3rd, and in 11 other countries (including Brazil, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Korea, Mexico and Spain) in adjacent days. Netflix broke the news on its press site (opens in new tab), and this schedule matches a September report.
This ad-supported tier is its first solution to solve Netflix's subscriber woes, and the company is working on a password-sharing crackdown to follow.
When we tried Netfilx with ads, we found that its inconsistency, and poorly timed ad-insertion, coupled with the low-res downgrade, were big issues. That said, Netflix with ads is missing a ton of movies — way more than shows.
Netflix with ads: What you get
Netflix with ads is called Basic with Ads because it's offering the same functionality as the $9.99 per month Basic tier (but with ads), and both are actually getting an upgrade in visual fidelity. Both Basic and Basic with Ads will come with 720p HD video quality up from the 480p SD picture quality from before.
Netflix Basic with Ads inserts 4-5 minutes of advertisements per hour, and the big annoyance is that some movies and shows won't be available at the start. Netflix says it's working on that. Also, no ability to download titles.
Netflix with ads pricing vs other Netflix tiers
|Netflix plan||US price||Picture quality||Simultaneous streams|
|Basic with Ads||$6.99 per month||720p HD||1|
|Basic||$9.99 per month||720p HD||1|
|Standard||$15.49 per month||Up to 1080p||Up to 2 streams|
|Premium||$19.99 per month||Up to 4K UHD||Up to 4 streams|
Outlook: Netflix joins Disney Plus' ad-supported winter
In December, Disney Plus with ads arrives in the US, and that $7.99 per month tier is also $3 less than its ad-free $10.99 tier. The major difference is that Disney Plus doesn't make you pay more for 4K streams. HBO Max, Paramount Plus and Peacock all give you a $5 discount for their ad-supported tiers, so some might have expected a cheaper Netflix with ads.
That said, Netflix has far more content than Disney Plus, so it makes sense. These specifics aren't surprising, but we wonder if and when Netflix will offer a discount to see ads to those who want 1080p HD and 4K UHD Netflix.
Next: Netflix's basic tier is getting a big upgrade and it's going to be free. We're preparing for Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power episode 8, the season finale.