Netflix’s ad-supported plan is hitting screens next month

The new basic plan with ads will cost $6.99 a month with an average of four to five minutes of ads per hour.

Netflix is launching its cheaper subscription option with ads in 12 countries next month, as the streaming service tries to draw in more viewers.

The new basic with ads tier will cost $6.99 a month with an average of four to five minutes of ads per hour. The ads will be 15 to 30 seconds in length and will play before and during TV shows and movies.

Users on this cheaper plan will be unable to download content and will be limited to 720p/HD video quality.

Certain movies and TV shows won’t be available for this subscription option due to licencing restrictions, but Netflix said it is working on this issue.

The cheaper option will be available in the UK, the US, Germany, Italy, Spain, France, Australia,  Brazil, Canada, Japan, Korea and Mexico. Netflix expects to launch the ad-supported option in more countries over time.

“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,” Netflix said in a statement.

The streaming giant said its offering “broad targeting capabilities” by country and genre to make ads more relevant for consumers, while helping advertisers reach the right audience.

Netflix had resisted adverts for years, but hinted at the possibility of an ad-based subscription after it reported a loss of around 200,000 subscribers in the first quarter of this year. This marked the first time the streaming giant had lost subscribers in more than a decade.

The company confirmed it was developing the ad-supported option in July, when it chose Microsoft as as its global advertising technology and sales partner.

“None of this would have been possible without our team’s hard work or Microsoft’s extraordinary partnership,” Netflix said. “We’re confident that with Netflix starting at $6.99 a month, we now have a price and plan for every fan.”

Netflix has also been dealing with an increasingly crowded streaming market, with the launches of Disney+ in 2019, HBO Max in 2020 and Paramount+ in 2021.

Disney in particular has become a key rival for Netflix. In August, Disney’s streaming services Disney+, Hulu and ESPN+ together surpassed Netflix in terms of total global subscribers.

Disney+ also plans to introduce an ad-supported plan in December, while its premium ad-free plan is set to get a Christmas price hike.

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