After threatening to do so for several months, Netflix has finally dropped its ad-supported tier on the world. Well, some of the world. The new plan, called Basic with Ads, is available in the United States and ten other countries. Before you get excited, South Africa isn’t one of them.
And that might be for the best. It doesn’t really seem like you’re getting the best deal by paying Netflix less money. The new bottom tier will set subscribers back just $6 (R110) per month. That’s… not all that far from South Africa’s basic pricing, which makes us a tiny bit nervous. But that’s a problem for the future.
Et tu, Netflix?
Since it’s official, Basic with Ads is finally fully detailed and it’s not great. The whole ‘Netflix will serve you ads’ angle is obvious, with up to five minutes of pre- and mid-roll ads being served per hour. Some movies will only have pre-roll ads. Others… won’t. We joined streaming services to get away from ad breaks in movies, guys. It’s like we’re going backwards.
There are other drawbacks to the cheaper Netflix pricing. Streams are capped at 720p, offline downloads are no longer a thing, and there’s only a single active stream permitted per subscription. Oh, and around 10% of the company’s library just won’t be available. This is due to licensing issues, the streaming giant says.
Netflix isn’t alone in its behaviour. Disney+, the fictional mouse’s streaming platform, will also roll out an ad-supported tier in the next few weeks. As with this one, expect it to turn up in larger markets before the corporate juggernauts turn their attention to extracting even more money from the less lucrative markets. Gotta pacify those shareholders, after all.