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How You’ll Know You Can’t Watch Something with Netflix Ad-Supported Plan

Jason Gurwin

Earlier this week, Netflix launched their ad-supported plan in Canada and Mexico. On Nov. 3, it will roll out in nine additional countries, including the United States. In the U.S., the Netflix Basic with Ads plan will cost $6.99 per month, $3 cheaper than the current ad-free version of the Netflix Basic plan.

While you will forgo a few features like offline downloads and should expect about four minutes of ads per hour, there is one other thing that you might miss — select pieces of content. Netflix says that some TV shows and movies aren’t available to watch with the Basic with Ads plan because of licensing restrictions.

But, how will you know when you can’t watch a show on the Netflix Basic with Ads plan? Those pieces of content will have a “lock icon” when you search or browse Netflix. This seems a lot better than the alternative, which would be to just hide it if you don’t have access to it.

In our tests of the Netflix Basic with Ads plan, we didn’t see a ton of content that was unavailable on the Basic Plan. Earlier today, the Wall Street Journal reported that Netflix had not yet finalized licensing agreements with Disney, NBCUniversal, Sony Pictures Television, Warner Bros. Discovery, or Lionsgate, with WBD being the studio closest to an agreement.

The limited Disney content we searched was available with the ad-supported tier, but that’s because most Kids content will be played without ads. “House of Cards,” which was distributed by Sony Pictures Television, despite being labeled a Netflix original was locked (at least in Canada, where the ad-supported plan has launched).

With the Netflix Basic plan launching in the U.S. on Wednesday, we should have a better idea of exactly what content you can and can’t watch with the ad-supported plan very soon.

Netflix

Netflix is a subscription video streaming service that includes on-demand access to 3,000+ movies, 2,000+ TV Shows, and Netflix Originals like Stranger Things, Squid Game, The Crown, Tiger King, and Bridgerton. They are constantly adding new shows and movies. Some of their Academy Award-winning exclusives include Roma, Marriage Story, Mank, and Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.

Netflix offers four plans — on 2 device in HD with their “Standard with Ads” ($6.99) plan, on 1 device in SD with their “Basic” ($9.99) plan, on 2 devices in HD with their “Standard” ($15.49) plan, and 4 devices in up to 4K on their “Premium” ($19.99) plan.

Netflix spends more money on content than any other streaming service meaning that you get more value for the monthly fee.

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