Netflix at its press conference on October 13 reveal a preview of its new ad-supported tier, “Basic with Ads,” which will be available on November 3 in nine countries, including the United States, and will cost $6.99 per month ($13 less than Netflix’s Premium plan). This matches up with reports that the new plan would cost $7-$9.
To begin, the lower tier will be available in 12 markets. Subscribers in Canada and Mexico will be the first to test the new plan on November 1. On November 3, it will be available in the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy, Australia, Japan, Korea, and Brazil. When the cheaper tier launches on November 10, Spain will be the last to experience it.
The launch dates confirm previous reports that the ad tier would be available in 2022, as compared to Netflix’s previous announcement that it would be available in early 2023. The streaming giant will be one month ahead of rival Disney+, which will launch its ad-supported plan at $7.99 per month on December 8 alongside a price increase for its ad-free plan.
Netflix wrote, “While it’s still very early days, we’re pleased with the interest from both consumers and the advertising community — and couldn’t be more excited about what’s ahead. As we learn from and improve the experience, we expect to launch in more countries over time.”
However, there are some drawbacks. While subscribers can enjoy various Netflix titles at a lower price while simultaneously streaming on multiple devices, the company has yet to finalize the rights to various shows and movies.
“A limited number of movies and TV shows won’t be available due to licensing restrictions, which we’re working on,” the company added.
During the press conference, Netflix Chief Operating Officer Greg Peters stated that the percentage of unavailable titles varies by country. Approximately 5% to 10% of Netflix’s catalog will be missing from the ad-supported plan at launch. “We’ll work to reduce that number over time,” Peters said.
Besides that, Netflix confirmed earlier reports that offline viewing would be unavailable, as is common for many AVOD (ad-supported video-on-demand) services.
The ad-supported tier, like the Netflix basic plan, will have 720p HD video, whereas the standard and premium plans will have 1080p HD video. Basic tier subscribers also do not have access to 4K viewing, which is only available to premium subscribers.
Each advertisement will be 15 or 30 seconds long and will run before and during shows and movies. On the plus side, new Netflix movies will have pre-roll ads rather than interruptions. However, older films will receive both midroll and pre-roll advertisements.
The ad load will be limited to an average of 4-5 minutes of ads per hour, which is also the plan for Disney+.
During the call, Jeremi Gorman, Netflix’s president of worldwide advertising, stated that hundreds of advertisers had signed up for the launch and that Netflix’s inventory was nearly sold out.
Gorman also stated that the streamer does not accept political or policy advertisements. Marketers will most likely be relieved that the streamer will be supported by companies other than Microsoft.
Nielsen will use its Digital Ad Ratings in the United States and, eventually, Nielsen ONE Ads to report Netflix ratings. The reporting will begin “sometime in 2023,” according to Netflix.
Nielsen has been monitoring TV audiences on Netflix since 2017, but the company has been accused of reporting numbers that differ from those provided by Netflix.
According to the company, Netflix also collaborated with DoubleVerify and Integral Ad Science to “verify the viewability and traffic validity” of the advertisements.