Companies tend to make an effort to make their cheapest option sound like it’s still exciting in some way, which is why Starbucks has a very small size called “Tall” or why car companies will slap a badge that says something like “Limited” on a vehicle that is objectively the worst thing they sell. For its new, long-awaited(?) ad-supported tier, Netflix is going in the opposite direction by making it sound as unappealing as possible. Starting in November, subscribers will be able to sign up for… Netflix Basic With Ads. (Cue lackluster fireworks display and a royalty-free approximation of a hit rock song.)
This comes from Variety, which says Netflix Basic With Ads (truly the streaming service tier equivalent of having green text message bubbles) will cost $7 per month and will be available in the U.S. on November 3. It will also be available in November in Canada, Mexico, Australia, Brazil, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Korea, the U.K., and Spain. That puts it at $3 cheaper than the current cheapest Netflix plan, which only lets you stream on one device at a time and currently doesn’t offer HD streaming—though, once Basic With Ads launches, both it and regular Basic will offer 720p video, so that’s nice.
But wait, it gets worse! Due to some licensing restrictions, the full Netflix library will not be available on Basic With Ads. We don’t know specifics, but Variety says Netflix COO Greg Peters indicated that it would still have about 90-95 percent of the library (depending on where you live) and that the company will be trying to bring more content to the cheaper tier “over time.”
We previously heard that Netflix was specifically courting advertisers with deep pockets and that it was planning to regulate the ads in such a way that no one company could take over an excessive amount of spots, so if you’re willing to accept the damage that signing up for Netflix Basic With Ads will do to your social standing, the experience hopefully won’t be too bad. And if it means more people can enjoy Mike Flanagan’s annual spooky spectacular without having to give up the various arms and legs that Netflix’s pricier plans require, then that’s good for everybody.