Netflix has become the latest streaming giant to offer an ad-supported plan, unveiling its new, cheaper option Thursday, months after seeing a record loss in subscribers.
In July, Netflix CEO and CPO Greg Peters confirmed the streaming giant would partner with Microsoft to create a lower-priced, ad-supported subscription plan for its service. The move came a few months after Netflix raised monthly subscription prices in the U.S. for all plans in order for the service to “continue to offer a wide variety of quality entertainment options.”
The new option is Netflix’s fourth plan, joining its basic, standard, and premium plans, all of which are ad-free. Current plans and members won’t be impacted by the addition of this new plan, and no other plans will have ads added to them.
On Thursday, Peters announced the plan, “Basic with Ads,” will be available on November 3 at 9 a.m. PT. It will cost $6.99 a month in the U.S., $5.99 in Canada, and be available in Australia, Brazil, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Spain, and the UK.
Basic with Ads is largely the same as Netflix’s other plans but includes an “average of 4 to 5 minutes of ads per hour.” Some shows and movies – it’s unclear which, as of Thursday – won’t be available to the plan’s subscribers “due to licensing restrictions,” and users won’t be able to download titles to watch offline, Netflix explains.
At first, ads will be 15 or 30 seconds in length and appear before and during shows and movies, according to Netflix.
“We’re confident that with Netflix starting at $6.99 a month, we now have a price and plan for every fan,” the company said in its announcement.
In April, Netflix reported its first loss of subscribers in more than a decade, sending the company’s shares into a free fall. At the time, executives blamed increased competition and password sharing.
Netflix CEO Reed Hastings has never been a fan of ads, instead viewing them as a distraction from the entertainment the service provides. Netflix tested commercials in 2018 – referring to them instead as video promotions that appeared between episodes and movies – but offered users the opportunity to opt out of them.
Other services such as Hulu and Peacock offer ad-supported plans, and Disney+ is on track to debut a similar offering later this year. Apple’s streaming service is ad-free, minus promotions for its own content.