Netflix With Ads Launches Today: Here's Everything You Need To Know
A new era of Netflix begins.
The time has come: Netflix's new ad-based tier is officially arriving today in the United States. After years of refusing to offer an ad-supported tier, Netflix changed its mind (in the wake of dwindling subscriber numbers) and the less expensive subscription membership is now available widely after a test phase.
There are several key things to know about the new plan, which is called Netflix Basic with Ads. Here's a rundown that covers the price, key information about what you get and don't get, and more.
Netflix Basic with Ads costs $7/month in the United States. This is the rate for new subscribers and people with an existing plan that they want to convert.
A chart posted on Netflix's website provides a breakdown of the company's various plans, including Basic with Ads ($7/month), Basic ($10/month), Standard ($15.50/month), and Premium ($20/month).
What Do You Get?
Netflix Basic with Ads is an ad-supported membership that gives subscribers access to Netflix's catalog (minus some titles) at a resolution of up to 720p. This plan allows for playback on one supported phone, tablet, computer, or TV at a time. The membership also includes access to Netflix Games (which doesn't have any ads or microtransactions). The ability to download titles is not supported with the new Netflix Basic with Ads membership.
Why Aren't Some Titles Available?
According to Netflix, certain TV shows and films are not available with the new ad-based tier due to "licensing restrictions." Viewers will see a "lock icon" when they come across a title that is not available through the new subscription tier. Netflix had to obtain new rights and renegotiate deals for the ad-based tier, and that means about 5%-10% of programming won't be there at launch, Netflix told Deadline.
Now that Basic with Ads has gone live, we've found there are more than 250 TV shows and films that are not available on the ad-based plan.
How About Those Ads?
Ads will be shown before or during "most" TV shows and movies, Netflix said. Viewers can expect about four minutes of ads per hour, though Netflix said this will vary by title. Ads will not be displayed on "Kids" profiles, however, Netflix said. Netflix's ads cannot be skipped or fast-forwarded, but members still have the ability to pause during an ad.
Some of Netflix's big-ticket films and TV series, like Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery, will only display a pre-roll ad and won't pause for an ad break mid-movie.
"We'll try to preserve that sort of cinematic model there," Netflix's Greg Peters told Deadline.
Ads on Netflix may be personalized, the company said, so you might see ads based on the genre of content you're watching or related to the information you've previously shared with Netflix. Upon signing up for Netflix Basic with Ads or converting an existing membership, the streaming company will ask for your date of birth and gender. Netflix said it uses this information, along with "general location information" from your IP address, to serve you tailored ads.
According to Ampere Analytics, Netflix's new ad-based tier could bring in $8.5 billion a year by 2027 through subscription fees and ad revenue.
Netflix's new ad-based tier sees the company follow suit from the likes of HBO Max, Peacock, and others that have ad-supported membership options. Disney+, meanwhile, will launch its own ad-based tier in December, priced at $8/month.
The products discussed here were independently chosen by our editors. GameSpot may get a share of the revenue if you buy anything featured on our site.
Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email firstname.lastname@example.org
Join the conversation