It’s weird to think about how far streaming has come, but it’s impossible to have that conversation without mentioning Netflix and how much it’s done for on-demand content.
Before it was a streaming giant, the company was a mail-to-home DVD company (they still have that option). They saw the curve and got ahead of it. They were also the first streaming network to have a show get nominated for an Emmy – House of Cards.
Netflix saw incredible growth over the years and was basically printing money and greenlighting everything that came through the door. Then came the inevitable crash. In 2022, Netflix reported that for the first time it didn’t see any growth in a quarter, and in fact lost 200,000 subscribers.
The company seemed to not know what to do about that problem at first, but eventually it started testing out new subscription tiers with a cheaper option that included ads. Perhaps it was taking a page from competitors like Hulu and Paramount Plus and Peacock, which all have lower-priced commercial tiers.
Netflix CEO Ted Sarandos announced the tier earlier in June:
“We’ve left a big customer segment off the table, which is people who say: ‘hey, Netflix is too expensive for me and I don’t mind advertising.’ We’re adding an ad-tier, we’re not adding ads to Netflix as you know it today. We’re adding an ad tier for folks who say ‘hey, I want a lower price and I’ll watch ads.'”
Now, instead of three tier options: Basic, Standard and Premium, there are four, with the newest tier called Basic with Ads. Here’s a breakdown of all of them.
The Basic with Ads Tier – $6.99 a month
Starting November 3, Netflix will launch it’s least expensive tier – Basic with Ads. It’ll cost $6.99 a month, about a dollar cheaper than competitor Disney Plus.
It’ll initially be available in 12 countries: Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Spain, the UK and the US. The new plan will not affect any of the other ones.
What’s different in Netflix’s Basic with Ads tier?
The video quality for this tier is 720p/HD (the same as Basic without Ads). There are an “average of 4 to 5 minutes of ads per hour; in addition, a limited number of movies and TV shows won’t be available due to licensing restrictions, which we’re working on,” Netflix said. There’s also no ability to download titles and people can only watch on one supported device at a time.
As for the ads, Netflix said they’ll be “15 or 30 seconds in length” and will play “before and during shows and films. ” Netflix said it will offer advertisers the ability to target customers by country and genre, and also prevent ads from appearing on shows that are “inconsistent with their brand (e.g. sex, nudity or graphic violence).”
To help advertisers target the right audiences, Netflix said it will use “Digital Ad Ratings (DAR) in the U.S. This will become available sometime in 2023 and eventually be reported through Nielsen ONE Ads.”
The Basic Tier – $9.99 a month
The Basic tier costs $9.99 a month and also only allows one supported device at a time. The access to shows and mobile games stays the same as the Basic with ads tier, but people can watch uninterrupted.
It’s basically the same plan except there are no ads and you can download on the one supported device.
The Standard Tier – $15.49 a month
Again, access to all the shows stays the same regardless of pricing tier. However, the standard tier allows for viewing in Full HD, the ability to watch on two devices at the same time as well download to those devices.
Everything else is the same.
The Premium Tier – $19.99 a month
The premium pricing tier is the big daddy of Netflix plans. This fancy tier allows for watching on four devices at once, with the ability to download on each of them. This tier also offers the best resolution, boasting content that appears in “Ultra HD.”
Other than that everything is pretty similar.
Netflix DVD Plan – Between $9.99 and $19.99 a month
One thing that the streaming plans don’t have is a DVD option. Surprisingly, that option still exists, although it costs extra.
A Basic one disc out-at-a-time plan runs for $9.99 a month with unlimited per month. The Standard DVD plan costs $14.99 and allows for two discs out-at-a-time and unlimited per month. The Premium plan costs $19.99 and it offers, you guessed it, three discs out-at-a-time.
All of the plans include both DVDs and Blu-rays. There are no late fees, free shipping and free returns, and the ability to cancel at anytime.
There you have it folks. All of the plans. Happy Netflixing!