Netflix has launched its Basic with Ads plan in the UK, bringing the cost of a monthly subscription down to £4.99 a month.
The standard Netflix subscription currently costs £10.99, while the top-end 4K streaming sub is £15.99 a month.
In return for that saving, Netflix will play adverts that typically last between 15 and 30 seconds, amounting to “about four minutes of ads per hour”, according to Netflix. These ads can appear before, during, and after shows and movies.
Some content will also be unavailable, at least initially. “Some TV shows and movies aren’t available to watch with the Basic with ads plan because of licensing restrictions,” says Netflix.
Netflix Basic with Ads does come with limitations, but may be worth trying if you have considered ditching your subscription altogether as a way to cut down on household costs.
There’s good news for families too. Ads are not shown on kids’ profiles so, if you primarily use Netflix to keep your children entertained, Basic with Ads could be perfect.
What hardware do you need?
Netflix says Basic with Ads will work on a “TV, computer, mobile phone, and tablet”. However, at the launch, many of these popular ways to stream Netflix were not supported by Basic With Ads.
If you own a Chromecast older than the latest Chromecast with Google TV dongle, it won’t work. Apple TV is not supported at all, and neither is Sony’s PlayStation 3 console. And, funnily enough, it is not supported by Netflix’s own Windows app — Netflix suggests using a web browser window instead.
This limited support suggests Netflix apps integrated into most smart TVs will also need an update to support Netflix Basic with Ads. Such an update may be unlikely if your set is already several generations old. In that case, Netflix’s final advice is to upgrade to one of its pricier plans.
Is it worth it?
However, there is another budget plan some may not have considered.
While standard Netflix costs £10.99 a month, the long-standing basic sub is £6.99. Like Basic with Ads, streaming quality is capped at 720p and it can only be watched on one device at a time – making sharing with friends or family an issue.
However, after the 10th time a movie is interrupted by ads, that £2 extra spend might seem worth it, despite the looming recession.