Users Rip Netflix Ad Tier For Removing Popular Streaming Content

Netflix's new ad tier offers a lower price, but streams at a lower resolution and is missing hundreds of popular series and films.

By Douglas Helm | Published

Once Netflix announced its ad tier, everyone knew it was going to cause some controversy. Unsurprisingly, Netflix Basic with Ads has launched and people are not happy about it. Not only does the new tier stream in a lower resolution, but it doesn’t allow downloads, and over 250 movies and TV shows aren’t showing up for those signed up for this lower-cost plan.

Although there were some reports that some of Netflix’s biggest hits like The Crown and Breaking Bad were not available at this ad tier, this has turned out not to be true. While those shows are available, series and films including House of Cards, Peaky Blinders, Friday Night Lights, The Sinner, New Girl, Arrested Development, The Good Place, Skyfall, The Imitation Game, and The Bad Guys are currently not available on this lower-priced tier, according to MovieWeb.

The new Netflix ad tier is priced at $6.99 per month, with comes to $3 cheaper than their Basic plan and $13 less than their premium plan with 4k streaming. While saving three dollars might be nice, it almost doesn’t seem worth it if you have to deal with lower resolution, ads, and less content. Netflix is apparently working on restoring some of this content, but licensing deals are causing the limitations so there’s no word on when this could be remedied.

Weirdly, the Netflix ad tier is also not currently working on Apple devices, but there are plans to bring it to Apple devices in the near future. For now, the new platform is available in Canada, Mexico, the US, the UK, Australia, Brazil, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, and Korea. Spain will be getting the Basic with Ads tier as well on November 10.

peaky blinders
Peaky Blinders, one of the shows unavailable at the lower-cost, ad-supported tier.

As to what users can expect from the new Netflix ad tier, you’ll be served roughly four to five minutes of ads for every hour of content, with ads running for about 15 to 30 seconds each. While users aren’t happy, it appears that stakeholders and investors are bullish on the idea. The streaming industry has only become more and more competitive over the years, with more options for users than ever.

While Netflix was once the king of the streaming industry, it now has to face off with platforms like Disney+, Hulu, Amazon Video, Apple TV+, HBO Max, Paramount+, and Peacock. It’s not affordable for most people to have subscriptions to everything, so exclusivity and attractive pricing tiers are key to helping people choose one platform over another. With Netflix offering a more affordable ad tier, they’re likely hoping to get some of that market share that’s hesitant about sticking with Netflix.

As far as exclusivity goes, Netflix is doing pretty well. They have tons of original shows and movies, with fan favorites like Stranger Things bringing viewers to the platform in droves. However, if the Netflix ad tier is lacking shows and movies, people are likely going to hesitate to make Netflix one of their go-to streaming platforms.

Netflix is definitely needing a win after having a rough start to 2022. Netflix kicked off the year by losing over 1.2 million global subscribers over two quarters along with enacting significant layoffs. However, Netflix has recovered, exceeding expectations and adding 2.41 million subscribers in Q3.

Whether people like it or not, it seems Netflix’s ad tier is going to help the platform. Disney+ will also be adding a slightly less expensive ad tier of its own soon, so Netflix won’t be the only platform subject to the Internet’s vitriol. We’ll have to wait and see how this pans out for Netflix and Disney+ as their tiers continue to roll out.