Netflix has finally launched its new ad-supported subscription plan, “Basic with Ads,” and initial reports suggest it’s far from ready for public consumption.
Netflix first rolled out the idea of an ad-supported plan earlier this year, hoping to target low-income users after a period of persistently low subscribers. The Step Down plan is significantly cheaper than the pre-existing Basic plan, coming in at $6.99 / £4.99 / AU$6.99 per month, allowing you to stream in HD (720p only) with a clear focus on using your smartphone and tablet instead of that. from the latest 4K TV’s.
Ads have already proven controversial – not just because part of Netflix’s appeal over the years has been the lack of advertisers on the platform.
As I mentioned the edge (Opens in a new tab)However, Netflix’s implementation of ads is largely inconsistent. Some shows force you to watch ads at the beginning, end, and middle of every episode – some shows don’t show any ads at all. Longer films also vary greatly in the number of ads shown, which can make it confusing as viewers simply don’t know how many ads they will be exposed to.
We know from Netflix Blog Posts (Opens in a new tab) Last month “At launch, ads will be 15 or 30 seconds long, which will run before and during shows and movies.” else help page (Opens in a new tab) “You can expect to see an average of about 4 minutes of ads per hour (this may vary depending on the title you watch),” she says.
But it doesn’t make sense not to apply ads consistently. One of the few things that traditional TV ad breaks provide is that you know when they’re going to land.
An hour of watching cable TV will have advertisements before the show/movie starts, about 20 minutes later, and eventually before the program slate begins in the next hour. It offers reliable interruptions where you can – if you don’t want to succumb to the onslaught of advertisers’ messages – go grab a snack, walk around the house, talk to your subscriber, scroll through your phone, or whatever. Changing ad spots are just jarring, and it also seems like they have to be more complex on the back end than the standard approach.
We’ve reached out to Netflix for more clarification, but in the meantime the ad chaos on this new low-priced tier – along with many major paywalls banned, due to “licensing restrictions” – seems to make some think Subscribers twice before subscribing. About 5-10% of the content on Netflix is not available at this level, including some best netflix shows – The likes of The Crown, Breaking Bad, Peaky Blinders, New Girl and Arrested Development are not available.
The other basic plan, without any ads, is $9.99 / £6.99 per month, if that sounds less daunting and still within your budget.