Netflix has launched its controversial new subscription subsidised tier in the UK, US, Australia and select areas of Asia and Europe. The plan, dubbed Netflix Basic with Ads, gives you access to 720p streaming with roughly five minutes of advertising per hour. These ads will run during movies and TV series, however, they will not run on children's programming when using a Netflix Kids account - Disney+ has taken a similar approach. Apparently, some movies and shows will not be available to subscribers of the Basic with Ads membership, and this will be indicated by a padlock icon on the relevant content.
Netflix Basic with Ads costs just $6.99/month in both the US and Australia, here in the UK it will cost just £4.99/month. This is undeniably a compelling price point for those who don’t mind watching the occasional advertisement during their streaming binge, however, the 720p capped resolution is disappointing, yet to be expected as the standard Netflix Basic plan is the same. After all, value is the name of the game for Netflix Basic, so some corners have to be cut to reach this price point.
However, there are some severe caveats that are harder to ignore, especially if you want to use this new subscription tier on specific streaming devices. The major downfall in this regard is that Netflix Basic with Ads will not work on Apple TV or older Chromecast devices apart from the latest Chromecast with Googe TV streaming dongles. Netflix has also dropped support for the PlayStation 3, Netflix Windows app and any smartphones and tablets running an OS older than iOS 15 or Android 7. If you try to log into your Netflix Basic with Ads plan on any of these devices, you will be met with a message asking you to upgrade to a different plan.
While older consoles and mobile devices can be somewhat excused due to outdated software, Apple’s lack of compatibility makes for specific concerns for those wanting the cheaper Netflix tier, as the total lack of Apple TV support is baffling and the iOS 15 minimum requirement strikes out any iPhone older than the 6S. There is no indication as to whether this is Netflix's or Apple’s doing, however with the lack of support on older Chromecasts also present, it's inconvenient to many regardless.
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