Netflix's ad-supported tier finally has a release date, and it's now clear just what sacrifices you'll have to make to get a lower price. The new "Basic with Ads" plan will be available November 3rd at 12PM Eastern for $7 per month. It will initially be available to viewers in 12 countries, including the US, UK, Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Mexico, South Korea and Spain.
There are compromises beyond the commercials, which will run for an average of four to five minutes per hour. You'll be limited to a "720p/HD" resolution, and licensing will prevent you from watching certain movies and TV shows. Netflix says it's "working on" lifting that content restriction. You also can't download content to watch offline, so you'll need to pay for a Standard or Premium plan if you need viewing material for your next flight.
The ads will initially be 15- to 30-second spots, and will play both before and during shows. There will be "broad" targeting for those ads based on criteria like your country and the genres of content you watch. Nielsen is also tracking the performance of these ads in the US through its digital rating system.
There are still plenty of incentives to use a more expensive plan, then. However, Netflix is hopeful this will make its service accessible to a wider audience than before. To some extent, it's necessary. Netflix has been losing subscribers in recent quarters, and Basic with Ads could help either attract newcomers or keep existing users from jumping ship.