Netflix’s decision to introduce an ad-supported tier has sparked a lot of online discussions, with many wondering what this means for the entire streaming media sector.
However, the news that not all of Netflix’s catalog will be available to users on the ad-supported tier has sparked even more debate online. But what titles won’t you find on Netflix’s ad-supported tier, and why does this restriction exist? Here is everything you need to know.
What is Netflix’s ad-supported tier?
Netflix’s new ad-supported tier, Basic with Ads, costs $6.99 per month. Users on this platform will see adverts between shows, have their resolution capped at 720p, and cannot download shows to their devices to watch them offline.
How much of Netflix isn’t available with ads?
According to Variety “5% to 10% of titles” will be unavailable to those on the ad-supported tier. And Variety notes that the exact number of titles unavailable will change depending on what country you are watching from.
In a press release announcing the new tier, Netflix did note this. The streaming giant said: “a limited number of movies and TV shows won’t be available due to licensing restrictions, which we’re working on.”
This tracks with a statement Netflix chief operating officer Greg Peters made earlier last month. He told Variety that a: “limited number of movies and TV shows won’t be available due to licensing restrictions, and we’re going to be working on reducing that over time.”
Suggesting that this situation might change in the future, but early adopters will still need to deal with this restriction for the foreseeable future.
What shows can’t ad-supported users watch?
Unfortunately, Netflix hasn’t offered a complete list of what isn’t available, forcing users to work it out themselves.
However, the bulk of the missing content falls into several general categories, usually based on who currently distributes the content. This means if Netflix can come to an arrangement with these distributors, lots of this content may become available with ads at some point in the future.
Early Netflix Originals
You would think that Netflix would want to heavily promote its original content, considering these shows are the platform’s main selling point for many users. However, some of the earlier Netflix Originals are unavailable for ad-supported users.
This includes big names like Arrested Development, House of Cards, and Father Christmas Is Back.
DreamWorks Netflix Originals
One massive omission from the ad-supported tier is the DreamWorks Netflix originals. This means you won’t be able to watch shows like Turbo FAST, Jurassic World: Camp Cretaceous, Puss in Boots, or Voltron without an upgrade.
At the current time, many Universal shows are not available via the ad-supported tier. This includes Universal’s TV shows, Universal Pictures movies, and content from Universal animation.
Thus, viewers on the ad-supported tier won’t be able to watch content like The Good Place, Queen of the South, Oblivion, Robin Hood, Minions & More, and Sing 2.
Interestingly, this includes movies from Universal 1440, many of which Netflix has exclusive streaming rights to, including movies like The Munsters.
While not as blocked out as Universal, several major Sony movie projects are unavailable on the ad-supported tier. This includes movies like Casino Royale, Quantum of Solace, and Resident Evil: Apocolypse.
Most noticeably, this includes Sony’s first window movies, like Father Stu and Morbius.
All movies from Lionsgate are not available on the ad-supported tier. This includes Rambo, Rambo: Last Blood, and Empire State. Though the label’s TV shows are available with ads.
Many projects owned by 20th Television are not available on the ad-supported tier. This includes many shows scheduled to leave Netflix in the coming months. Tragically, this means you can’t watch Arrested Development or New Girl with ads.
Some projects by smaller studios and distributors are also blocked on the ad-supported tier. This includes movies like Missing Link and Walking Tall.
Of course, the shows unavailable on the ad-supported tier will change depending on what country you are in. The most noticeable example of this is Peaky Blinders. While American fans can’t watch it with ads, viewers in the UK can watch it on the ad-supported tier, because in that territory, the show is marked as a BBC-produced show, not a Netflix original.