(KTLA) – Netflix offers the cheapest plan so far, but there’s a catch. For the first time, subscribers will see ads in their shows and movies.
The Basic with Ads plan costs just $6.99 per month, which is $3 less than the next cheapest plan and $13 less than the company’s premium plan.
“[Streaming] companies understand that in order for people to keep coming to us, they will have to come up with a more cost-effective way to get people to subscribe — people can’t afford all the services in the world,” said Brian Steinberg, editor of Variety magazine. engaged in the advertising business on television.
Is it worth switching to a new plan? There are some pros and cons.
It’s available to new and existing customers, and you can downgrade by logging into your account and selecting Change Plan.
Keep in mind that if you sign up or upgrade to a new plan, you’ll have to tell Netflix your date of birth and gender.
Also, if you’re using an Apple TV to watch Netflix or a very old Chromecast device, it might not work with the new plan right now.
The Basic with Ads plan currently includes about four minutes of ads per hour. Some at the start of the show, others are randomly inserted.
You cannot skip ads, but you can pause them. When I signed up for the new plan, I saw ads for well-known brands including Hilton, Best Western, and Tiffany.
“These guys aren’t shy about wanting more money and more cash flow, so I suspect that over time, you might see four to five minutes grow to six, seven, eight, nine, 10,” Steinberg said.
Ads are personalized based on what you watch on Netflix, as well as your age, gender, and location.
The low-cost plan streams in the lowest HD resolution – 720p – and you can’t download shows for offline viewing, say, on a plane.
Also, the ad-supported plan does not include all shows and movies. Items you cannot view are marked with a lock. This can get boring quickly if you want to watch a show or movie. It is not possible to see this selection prior to registration.
As I scrolled through, I noticed many more castle movies. It appears that a lot of third-party content not created by Netflix itself is blocked.
The cheap plan also limits you to streaming on one device at a time. This can be tricky if you’re sharing your account with a family member and you both want to watch something on different devices in different rooms at the same time.
Ad-supported Netflix is part of a larger trend towards cheaper and free streaming options. HBO, HULU, Peacock and Paramount+ offer cheaper ad-supported plans.
Amazon FreeVee, Tuvi, and Pluto TV offer completely free, ad-supported streaming services.
“People were running away from television to get away from advertising… well, now it’s back and I think it will stay,” Steinberg concluded.
Separately, Netflix also introduced a new tool called “Access and Device Management” that lets you see all the devices you’re signed into with your Netflix account and when they last streamed something.
It also lets you remove access to that device remotely, which Netflix says is handy if you forget to log out at a hotel or a friend’s house.