Is Netflix with ads the Bad Place? The new ad-supported plan is a cheaper way to get Netflix, but it comes at a cost: Certain shows, like The Good Place and House of Cards, are unavailable due to licensing issues. And it turns out Netflix with ads is far worse for its movie selection than its TV show selection.
Netflix with ads launched yesterday, giving subscribers a more affordable way to access the service. Netflix Basic With Ads is $6.99 / £4.99 / CA $5.99 / AU $6.99 per month — less than half of the most popular Standard plan ($15.49/month).
However, the more affordable plan has a few caveats. The first, most obvious one is that ads will play during programs at a rate of about 4-5 minutes an hour. Subscribers won't be able to download titles for offline viewing and are restricted to a single stream at only 720p HD video resolution.
Additionally, ad plan subscribers won't be able to watch the entire Netflix catalog of shows and movies, including a few originals. The company alerted everyone of select unavailabilities when it first announced the ad-supported tier.
A “limited number of movies and TV shows won’t be available due to licensing restrictions, and we’re going to be working on reducing that over time,” Netflix chief operating officer Greg Peters previously said.
Which shows and movies are missing on Netflix with ads?
According to Variety, and our own perusal of Netflix with ads, some high-profile shows that are missing from the ad-supported plan include The Good Place, House of Cards, Arrested Development, Peaky Blinders, New Girl, Friday Night Lights, The Magicians, The Sinner and The Last Kingdom.
Missing movies include Sing 2, Casino Royale, Morbius, Phantom Thread, Oblivion, Lee Daniels' The Butler, The Imitation Game, Road House and Vice.
Unavailable titles are marked by a small lock icon, as you can see on The Good Place and New Girl in the image below.
Analysis: Netflix with ads is off to a rocky start
Netflix with ads isn't a bad idea, necessarily. The company's woes this year have been well-publicized and they needed some way of attracting more (new) subscribers, as many people cut back on their entertainment budgets. A cheaper, ad-supported tier is something offered by most of its competitors now (HBO Max, Hulu, Peacock) or soon (Disney Plus).
Yet, Netflix is totally new to the ad game, unlike those other companies. Thus, their rush to launch the new plan has resulted in a bit of a mess. Netflix with ads doesn't even work on Apple TV. The service should've taken the time to get things right ahead of the launch. That also would've allowed Netflix to renegotiate their licensing agreements, so ad plan users aren't frustrated by lack of access to some shows.
Instead, the service will have to iron out these issues on the fly. In the meantime, anyone who signs up for Netflix with ads may experience some FOMO.
Next: I just tried Netflix with ads — and it’s as bad as I thought. Also, these are the 5 HBO Max shows you need to watch right now.
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Kelly is the streaming channel editor for Tom’s Guide, so basically, she watches TV for a living. Previously, she was a freelance entertainment writer for Yahoo, Vulture, TV Guide and other outlets. When she’s not watching TV and movies for work, she’s watching them for fun, seeing live music, writing songs, knitting and gardening.