It’s finally happening! On Thursday, Netflix announced that it will be launching the company’s first-ever ad-supported plan starting in November, in an apparent effort to keep up with rival streaming services.
The new plan, which is called Basic with Ads, will cost just $6.99 per month, which compares to Netflix’s current ad-free plans of Basic at $9.99 per month for viewing on one supported device at a time, Standard at $15.49 per month for two supported devices, and Premium at $19.99 per month for up to four supported devices.
As of now, there are no plans announced for ad-supported tiers of Standard and Premium plans, but depending how the initial rollout goes, you’d have to imagine they won’t be far behind.
Basic with Ads is intended to complement the streamer’s current offerings, and says that ad-free plans and members will not be impacted.
Other than the introduction of ads, which will average four to five minutes of commercials per hour at 15 or 30 seconds in length, Netflix says the only other difference subscribers will see with the ad-supported plan is that a limited number of movies and TV shows won’t be initially available due to licensing restrictions. However, they’re already working on remedying the issue. There will also not be the option to download titles with the ad-supported format.
The news comes amid Netflix raising subscription costs for the first time in three years back in January — which led to a worrying 1.2 million subscriber losses in the first two quarters of 2022. Likewise, a recent survey found that one in four Netflix users were planning to leave the platform by the end of the year. Before the ad-supposed tier was announced, Netflix was the most expensive of all streaming services currently available.
Amid continued projected losses, Netflix co-CEO Ted Sarandos first confirmed plans for a lower cost, ad-supported options during the company’s appearance at the Cannes Lions advertising festival 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,'” Sarandos said at the time. “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.'”
Basic with Ads will launch in the United States on Nov. 3, and the initial rollout will be available in 12 countries including Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Spain, and the United Kingdom.