If you can put up with a few ads, Netflix has a new deal for you.
As forecast in July, the mother of all streaming services is rolling out “Basic with Ads” beginning November 3. The new tier is priced at $6.99 a month and available in the U.S. and 11 other countries.
Subscribers who pay for other packages can rest easy, too. They will not be impacted in any way, shape, or form, and still have the Basic $9.99/month, Standard $15.49/month, and Premium $19.99/month
The difference between Basic and Basic with Ads
The company says that Basic with Ads comes with the same features as the current Basic plan, but just a few shades different.
Still the same: Netflix says that the ad-supported tier will have a wide variety of great TV shows and movies; a personalized viewing experience; and will be available on a wide range of TV and mobile devices.
One plus is that where some subscription services make consumers pay for a whole year to get a big discount, Netflix isn’t. It says subscribers can change or cancel their plan at any time.
New and different: Where is Netflix cutting back? Video quality up to 720p/HD (the same as its Basic plan); a limited number of movies and TV shows won't be available due to licensing restrictions, which the company says it’s working with rights holders to turn around; and there’s no ability to download titles so you can watch something on-the-go.
Now, about the ads: When it comes to ads, Netflix said the new package will have an average of four to five minutes of ads per hour. That's a tad more than the likes of HBO Max and Peacock which reportedly cap ads at under five minutes per hour.
How will those ads play out? To begin with, ads will be 15 or 30 seconds in length and play both before and during shows and films. For parents who want to shield their children from adult’ish ads that might contain sex, nudity, or graphic violence, not to worry – at least, not too much. Netflix said that advertisers have the “ability” to prevent ads from appearing on content that might be inconsistent with their brand. Whether that “ability” comes with agreements from advertisers is too early to tell.
And other streamings are raising prices
Down the streaming street, Netflix’ competitors are going the other way with their prices. Just this week, Hulu raised the price of its ad-supported on-demand service from $7 to $8 per month, and its ad-free tier from $13 to $15 per month.
CordCutter’s Jared Newman said that Disney is also raising the price of Hulu + Live TV, Disney+, and the Disney bundle, a package that includes Hulu, Disney+, and ESPN+, on December 8.
In fact, consumers can expect more bundling – which, like cable TV packages, comes with channels you don’t want.
“The main takeaway here is that Disney really just wants you to bundle everything together, hence the major price hikes on all its individual services, and relatively modest hikes on the Disney bundle,” Newman said, adding that streaming lovers better get ready because we may well be entering the era of nickel and diming.