Is Netflix With Ads Worth It?

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  • Netflix recently announced it would offer a cheaper, ad-supported version of its streaming service.
  • At $6.99 a month, it's a good option for people who don't mind watching a few ads.
  • On the downside, the selection of TV shows and movies available on the ad-supported plan is limited, resolution is capped at 720p, and you can't download content to watch later

Netflix's new ad-supported version could be worth the savings.

Netflix was the undisputed king of streaming for years until it was recently dethroned by Disney+ (bundled with Hulu and ESPN). Netflix lost close to one million subscribers in the first half of this year, the first big loss in over a decade. In an effort to attract even more subscribers, Netflix recently announced a new ad-supported plan that will allow users to watch shows and movies for a cheaper price. But is this new plan worth it? Let's take a look.

How the new ad-supported plan works

Netflix's lower priced ad-supported plan "Basic with Ads" will launch in November. It will cost just $6.99 a month in 12 countries: Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Spain, the U.K., and the U.S. Netflix plans to add more countries in the future. Netflix's current plans will not be impacted and will complement the existing ad-free Basic, Standard, and Premium plans.

The big difference is that under "Basic with Ads," the video quality is capped at 720p resolution. There will be an average of four to five minutes of ads per hour. The ads will be 15 to 30 seconds long and will play before and during shows and films. A limited number of movies and TV shows won't be available due to licensing restrictions (which Netflix states it is working on.) Another big change is you will also not be able to download titles for later viewing. 

Here are the prices for all of Netflix's plans:

  • Basic with Ads: $6.99 per month
  • Basic: $9.99 per month 
  • Standard: $15.49 per month
  • Premium: $19.99 per month

Is Basic with Ads for you?

Netflix with ads may not be ideal, but it could be worth it if you're looking to save money. This could be a good option for those who don't mind watching commercials, as it will be significantly cheaper than the traditional Netflix subscription. Premium is close to three times more expensive and offers content in 4K. If you watch Netflix on a tablet, mobile phone, or a TV that doesn't have 4K, then you won't really notice a difference. The same goes with the Standard plan which is about double the price and offers content in 1080p. If you have a 4K TV though, you will notice the difference in resolution with 720p.

Of course, there are downsides to this new option. The selection of movies and TV shows available on the ad-supported plan will likely be more limited than what's available on the standard Netflix plan. The biggest drawback is the inability to download movies. If you travel a lot or have spotty internet and rely on Netflix downloads, then this may not be right for you.

Another downside is you can only stream one device at a time on the "Basic with Ads" plan. Premium allows you to concurrently stream four streams, Standard allows two streams, and both Basic plans just one stream. If you have multiple people using your account, then this could be a dealbreaker. 

But if you're willing to trade off these drawbacks for a lower price, Netflix with ads could be a good option. The ad-supported version at $6.99 is a great deal if you are the only person using your account, you don't need higher resolution than 720p, and don't mind the ads. The subscription is cheaper than the ad-supported version for HBO Max by $2 and Hulu by $1. It is slightly more expensive than Apple TV+ by $2 and Peacock Premium by $1.

So, is Netflix with ads worth it? That depends on your priorities. If saving money is your top priority, then it could work for you for you. But if you value selection, convenience, and resolution over price, you might want to stick with the higher-level Netflix subscriptions. Signing up will be easy and you can change or cancel your plan at any time.

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