Netflix launches a cheaper tier with ads


Killian Johnson

Ads are the go-to support for modern streaming services.

Venkata Sri Saiveer Chelliboyina, Perspectives Reporter

Netflix is launching a Basic with Ads tier on Nov. 3, 2022. This new plan will be the cheapest of Netflix’s offerings at $6.99 a month, but it will also introduce advertisements to a streaming service long known for its premium nature. Netflix Basic with Ads will be available in the United States, Canada, Australia, and in many other countries. 

Besides four to five minutes of adverts for every hour of viewing, subscribers will not have access to the entirety of Netflix’s normal catalog. This is due to licensing issues that Netflix claims they are working to reduce. Users will not be able to download titles for offline viewing either, which is a feature in the more expensive tiers. Netflix’s fairly recent premium games catalog, however, will still be available ad-free with this cheaper plan.

When asked if he would pay less for Netflix in exchange for four to five minutes of ads per hour, freshman Pradhan Mavan said he would not because he pays for the advantage of having no ads. 

“No, I want no ads. Why would I pay if I will get ads?” Mavan said.

After a decade of prestige for sporting premium ad-free content, Netflix embracing advertisements on their platform may be a sign of the media industry falling short of modern consumer demands. Junior Eman Ahmed agreed with justifying a Netflix subscription with the fact that it is ad-free. 

“I bought Netflix for no ads,” Ahmed said. “If I wanted [ads], I would just use YouTube.”

Now those who do not mind advertisements can still refuse to downgrade their subscription because not all shows and movies may be available. French teacher Jennifer Lingon initially said she would consider the Basic with Ads tier, but was swayed away by the reduced catalog selection. The licensing issues that prevent full access to all shows and movies will likely be ironed out to some extent after the launch. 

This move comes amidst a major decline in Netflix’s subscriber growth for the first time earlier this year. As other players like Disney, Apple and HBO launched their streaming services over the past few years, the market for on-demand entertainment has grown more competitive. Services such as Hulu have popular ad-free tiers, while Disney+ is working on its own. Netflix may have been the pioneer for cutting the cord, but competitors have caught up, and it can no longer relax at the top.