Global Internet video streaming giant Netflix has launched its ad-supported subscription offering called Basic with Ads for $6.99/month in a number of countries, including Canada, Mexico, the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, Brazil, Spain, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, and South Korea. Exact prices may vary by country.
With the new lower-priced ads plan, users will have access to Netflix's entire library of shows but will be limited to a maximum available quality of 720p. About 5% to 10% of Netflix's content catalog will not be accessible due to "licensing restrictions."
The streaming giant has selected Microsoft as its global advertising technology and sales partner.
Users of the "basic" subscription will see an average of 4 to 5 minutes of ads per hour – before and during shows or films. Each ad insert will be 15-30 seconds long with no ability to skip or fast-forward through them. The cheapest plan also removes the ability to download content for offline viewing.
Not all content will be interrupted by ads – for example, major feature-length releases will be limited to just one ad.
Note that Netflix has been resistant to an ad tier, but a significant drop in the number of users and, consequently, in revenues, forced the company to find new revenue sources, one of which is introducing a cheaper tier.