Offline viewing may not be available for the Netflix with ads plan
The ad-supported tier from Netflix is expected to be officially launched sometime in early 2023, and it will give you the option to pay less for Netflix. However, as with anything that’s cheaper, not all features of the regular subscriptions may be present in this tier. Developer Steve Moser has found text in the Netflix iPhone app that indicates that the ad-supported tier won’t allow you to download content for offline viewing. This pretty much means this tier won’t be the best option if you frequently watch on the go and don’t have Unlimited data.
So far, Netflix has neither denied nor confirmed this, and it told TechCrunch that the company is still in the early days of figuring out how to launch a cheaper, ad-supported subscription option, basically saying there are no concrete decisions about it just yet.
Last month, Netflix’s co-CEO Ted Sarandos said that it could be possible for the ad-supported tier to not offer all of the content available on Netflix. This is due to the fact that the streaming giant will have to make new deals with studios, and at least at launch, the Netflix with ads plan (or whatever the tier’s official name ends up being) will be missing some shows.
Understandably, a cheaper plan option should not have all the bells and whistles of its more expensive counterpart. It sounds reasonable to expect that downloads (and probably some other feature) could be missing from the ad-supported plan, and as TechCrunch rightfully underlines, it is in fact quite challenging to serve ads on offline content.
And, on top of that, HBO Max’s and Hulu’s ad-supported tiers don’t offer offline viewing either, so if Netflix decides to stick with this, it won’t be a big surprise. However, given the fact that it’s still early for the final touches on the ad-supported plan, it would be best to take this info with a grain of salt, as things might change before the plan launches officially.
Netflix’s ad-supported tier: probable pricing
The price of the subscription we are talking about is (understandably) not announced yet, as the plan is expected to be available early next year. However, a quick glance at plans at Netflix and competitors may be able to give you an idea of what price tag to expect. Right now, the cheapest Netflix plan is the Basic one, and it starts at $9.99 per month with SD picture quality (up to 480p). If you want higher quality, you have the Standard plan at $15.49 with 1080p. For the extremely high-quality content binge-watchers, Netflix has the Premium Netflix tier at $19.99 which includes 4K UHD streaming on up to four devices.
So, the ad-supported tier could end up being somewhere between $4.99 a month and $9.99 a month, given the fact it should be cheaper than Netflix’s current cheapest plan. The $4.99 price is similar to Apple TV+ $4.99 subscription. Paramount+ and Peacock also have ad-supported tiers, and there the pricing is again $4.99 per month.
On the other hand, we have Hulu and HBO Max. Their ad-supported plans are $6.99 and $9.99 per month, respectively. However, Netflix already offers a Basic plan starting at $9.99, so the most accurate-sounding prediction of the ad-supported plan stands at somewhere between $4.99 and $6.99 (or why not $7.99) per month.
As we already stated, all of this is still speculation at this point as nothing is yet official about Netflix’s ad-supported subscription plan.