Remember that Basic with Ads tier Netflix introduced a few months ago? No? We aren’t surprised. South Africa – for some unknown reason – was left off the list of participating countries, with still no word on when or even if we’ll see the new category. SA wasn’t too fussed, though. Sure, it’s “cheap” – but it introduced limitations that many believed unworthy of the $7 price tag (us included). According to Netflix’s Q1 ‘letter to investors’, we might just have to change our minds.
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Before, the streamer’s ‘with-ads’ tier limited users to one stream at a time, at a 720p max resolution, and a poorer library than Netflix’s full-price offering. Now, users are given the option of two concurrent streams and a 1080p resolution cap. Netflix has been improving the ‘with-ads’ tier library since its launch in November, offering “on average ~ 95 percent content parity globally (by viewing).” As long as Better Call Saul is available, we’re not going to complain.
Subscribers in Canada and Spain reap the new features as soon as today, while the remaining ten countries will have the new features added before the month is out. If you thought South Africa would be added to the rather short list of eligible countries in the recent announcement, think again.
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That’s not to say South Africa won’t ever see the Basic with Ads tier. Considering its rather muted launch in November, it’s likely that Netflix was awaiting further results before deciding on the tier’s future. The good news is, Netflix said that it was “pleased” with the tier’s progress, mentioning that it currently has more subscribers than that of the standard ‘without-ads’ plan in the US. Given the success, it’s likely that Netflix will start trialling the tier in more countries later this year. Our advice? Temper any excitement you might have until we have something a bit more… official.
We also got confirmation last night of the company’s decision to delay its major password crackdown, and the passing of its DVD-renting service that was somehow still kicking.