Netflix Confirms Ad-Tier Details Including Price, Availability; Launching November 3
The day that the company said would never arrive is now just under three weeks away. On Thursday, Netflix officially announced that it would be launching its lower-priced, ad-supported subscription tier in a dozen countries on Thursday, Nov. 3 at 12 noon ET.
The “Basic with Ads” tier will run $6.99 per month, notably, $1 cheaper and more than a month earlier than Disney+’s ad-supported option, which will arrive on Dec. 8. The lower cost plans will not impact customers currently on the ad-free Basic ($9.99), Standard ($15.49), or Premium ($19.99) plans, but the new Basic with Ads option will have a handful of drawbacks.
As had been previously reported, the option will not allow customers to download shows or movies to watch offline, and it will only allow for a single stream at a time. Additionally, the video quality will be limited to just 720p on both the Basic and Basic with Ads tiers as opposed to the 1080p HD on Standard and Ultra HD on Premium.
The service will launch with an average of four to five minutes of commercials per hour, but some programming will remain available commercial-free as Netflix works on updating licensing agreements. Netflix announced that ads will be “15 or 30 seconds in length” and will run “before and during shows and films.”
Netflix co-CEO Reed Hastings first announced that the stalwart ad-free service would introduce an ad-supported tier in April following the company’s first quarterly subscriber loss in a decade. Though initial reports indicated that the tier would be available before the end of the year, as part of the company’s second-quarter earnings report, it announced that it was being pushed to early 2023.
However, when Disney confirmed that the ad-supported Disney+ would arrive in December, rumors again began to circulate that Netflix was looking to launch their lower-priced version first. With the details now public, Netflix’s Basic with Ads becomes one of the most cost-effective streaming services available.
Disney+ Basic — the name for its forthcoming ad-supported service — will cost $7.99 per month, the same price as its sibling streamer Hulu. HBO Max’s ad-tier is currently $9.99 per month, while discovery+’s ad-lite option runs $4.99 monthly.
Peacock and Paramount+’s lowest cost options are also $4.99, but do not come with the full complement of programming options that the streamers’ highest tiers do. It is worth noting that while Netflix did not confirm details, its announcement seemed to indicate that the ad-supported tier might not make all of the streamer’s content available.
The company noted that “a wide variety of great TV shows and movies” would be available on the Basic with Ads plan, but did not seem to confirm that all of the service’s library would be made available at the lower-priced tier.
After partnering with Microsoft to build out its advertising infrastructure, the streaming giant touted that its platform will allow advertisers to make sure that their messages reach the right audience by offering a “broad targeting capabilities by country and genre.” In theory, this should also make the viewing experience better for customers as they shouldn’t be bombarded by irrelevant ads.
The service also assured potential partners that they would be able to prevent their ads from appearing alongside content that was not consistent with the brand and its goals, either due to sex, language, nudity, violence, etc. It has previously been reported Netflix will not run ads on kids' shows or profiles, but that was not confirmed in the streamer’s announcement on Thursday.
To ensure that advertisers have an accurate understanding of how many people are watching Netflix, the world’s largest streamer will partner with Nielsen to use its Digital Ad Ratings domestically beginning in 2023. The steamer’s numbers will eventually also be incorporated into Nielsen ONE Ads. This marks the first time that an outside organization will have access to Netflix’s first-party viewership data.
The streaming service’s new ad-supported tier will be available in Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Spain, the U.K., and the United States on Nov. 3 and current customers will be able to adjust their subscription level within their account setup online.
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 1 device in SD with their “Basic 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.