Netflix finally announces its cheaper subscription -- Basic with Ads

Netflix Basic with Ads

It has been a very, very long time coming, but a cheaper Netflix subscription tier, complete with ads, arrives next month.

The new ad-supported plan is called Basic with Ads, and will cost $6.99 per month when it launches in the US on November 3. Netflix says that the cheaper tier will be available in 11 other countries, and shares details of the limitations subscribers will have to put up with, including the fact that some shows and movies simply will not be available if you're not paying for a more expensive ad-free Basic, Standard or Premium plan.

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In addition to the US, Netflix Basic with Ads will be available in Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Spain and the UK. While the company is eager to focus attention on the similarities between Basic with Ads and the more expensive subscription options, most people will be interested in what's different and what the limitations are.

The price of a cheaper subscription is not just ads. Video quality is limited to a maximum of 720p, there is no option to download video, and a "limited number of movies and TV shows won't be available due to licensing restrictions".

But subscribers -- or would-be subscribers will also have questions about the ads themselves. Netflix says that there will be an average of 4 to 5 minutes of ads per hour. The company also says that "at launch, ads will be 15 or 30 seconds in length, which will play before and during shows and films".

Having just signed up with Barb in the UK for recording viewing figures, Netflix shares the following information for advertisers:

  • Advertiser Controls: To help advertisers reach the right audience -- and ensure our ads are more relevant for consumers -- we'll offer broad targeting capabilities by country and genre (e.g. action, drama, romance, sci-fi). Advertisers will also be able to prevent their ads from appearing on content that might be inconsistent with their brand (e.g. sex, nudity or graphic violence). 
  • Verification Tools: We have partnerships with DoubleVerify and Integral Ad Science to verify the viewability and traffic validity of our ads starting in Q1 2023. 
  • Audience Measurement: To enable advertisers to understand how Netflix can reach their target audience, Nielsen will use its Digital Ad Ratings (DAR) in the U.S. This will become available sometime in 2023 and eventually be reported through Nielsen ONE Ads.

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