Netflix’s New Plan Is Missing Over 200 Movies

Netflix has removed hundreds of titles from its Basic with ads pricing tier.

By Phillip Moyer | Updated

Netflix movies

Netflix has a new, cheaper, ad-supported plan, which costs $6.99 per month. When announcing this plan, called “Basic with ads,” Netflix noted that members who use this plan wouldn’t be able to access a “limited number” of its movies and TV shows, thanks to licensing restrictions. Insider reports that we now know just how many titles make up that limited number: Basic with Ads is missing 245 movies and 118 TV shows.

The data didn’t mention all of the shows that were missing, but it noted that the most popular missing movies were Bullet TrainWhere the Crawdads Sing, and Uncharted — all movies released by Sony Pictures. While not confirmed, it’s possible that Netflix doesn’t have the license to show some Sony movies with ads.

Of course, with a total of 6% of Netflix’s movies and 5% of Netflix’s shows being removed from the ad-supported tier, the licensing issue extends beyond just Sony. Early reports stated that Netflix had removed House of Cards, Friday Night Lights, The Good Place, Skyfall, and Arrested Development from the ad-supported tier. 

Many of the drawbacks of Netflix’s controversial ad-supported plan, which was announced after two straight quarters of poor earnings, have been known for a while. Along with the drop in content, those who subscribe to the ad-based service will have to watch up to five minutes of ads for every hour of streaming. Netflix will also only allow “Basic with ads” subscribers to view movies and tv shows at 720p resolution. 

Right now, Netflix’s “Basic with Ads” tier is the cheapest of the service’s four tiers. It lies just below the Basic tier, which costs $9.99 per month. Netflix’s Basic tier has all of its movies and no ads but also forces users to watch the service in 720p. The service’s standard tier costs $15.49 per month and lets users watch in 1080p. The Premium tier costs $19.99 per month and allows for viewing in 4k resolution. 

The Basic with Ads tier might not end up being the only ad-supported tier that Netflix offers. There has been talk about Netflix trying out additional ad tiers — possibly ones with more ads, in order to help get licensing for the movies and shows that weren’t able to make it onto the current ad-supported tier. 

The lower-priced tier isn’t the only thing that Netflix is doing to try to attract more customers after losing more than a million subscribers earlier this year. Along with Netflix’s long-term strategy of offering exclusive movies and TV shows, the streaming giant has also partnered with Verizon to offer a free year of Netflix Premium to anyone who subscribes to certain other services using the telecommunication company’s new “+play” streaming hub. 

However, in this world of more competitive streaming options, that might not be enough to keep subscribers around. With Netflix recently laying off hundreds of employees this year and canceling multiple movies and shows, it seems like the company is well aware of the challenges it might face ahead.