Netflix with Ads: price, how to subscribe and everything else you need to know

Netflix Basic with Ads price
(Image credit: Netflix)

There's a new way to get a cheap Netflix subscription: Netflix with ads. As the name suggests, this new tier of the popular streaming service puts ads on your TV show or movie.

Netflix with ads is cheaper than the existing Basic, Standard and Premium subscriptions, making it a great option if you want to save money but still keep up to date with all the new Netflix originals.

Netflix isn't the only service with such a plan, with Hulu, HBO Max, Peacock and Paramount Plus (in the US, not the UK) having more affordable ads tiers too, and Disney Plus is expected to get one by the end of the year.

Whether you're a current Netflix subscriber or are tempted to start, you may have some questions about the ads rolling out to the streaming service, so here's everything you need to know about it.

How much does Netflix Basic with ads cost?

To subscribe to Netflix Basic with ads, you'll have to pay $6.99/£4.99 per month.

That's a discount of $3/£2 each month over the standard Netflix Basic tier, or $36/£24 per year, so it'll add up over time.

When did ads come to Netflix?

Netflix with ads rolled out on November 3 in most countries, including the US and UK.

The tier began early in Canada and Mexico, but also later in some countries, like Spain, which will get it November 10.

Where is Netflix with ads available?

Netflix Basic with ads isn't available in all countries at launch, but it is available in the US and UK.

There are 10 countries besides them: Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Korea, Mexico and Spain.

The tier will likely roll out to other regions when Netflix works out ads strategy there.

Gaten Matarazzo, Finn Wolfhard and Sadie Sink in stands in Stranger Things

Gaten Matarazzo, Finn Wolfhard and Sadie Sink in Stranger Things (Image credit: Netflix)

Will other Netflix plans be affected?


If you're currently on Netflix Basic, Standard or Premium, your subscription won't be affected one bit by the ads — you won't start seeing any pre-roll or mid-show advertising.

How many ads will you have to watch on Netflix?

Netflix has confirmed that it'll show four or five minutes of adverts per hour. Each ad will be around 15-30 seconds long.

So you'll probably see around a minute or two of ads for a short 20-minute comedy, four minutes for an episode of a longer TV show, and six or seven for a 90-minute movie.

The number of ads you see will, of course, depend on how long each one is — you could get through far more 15-second ads than 30-second ones. 

When will ads play in Netflix?

Adverts won't just play at the beginning of a Netflix video, but can show up mid-way through too.

You can't skip the adverts. It's not yet clear if Netflix will let you know ahead of time when the adverts will play, like FreeVee does, or if the breaks are curated by the streaming giant to make sure they come at appropriate times.

What quality of video does the cheap Netflix tier support?

On Netflix's ad-enabled tier, you can stream video at 720p resolution — that's HD quality, which most modern TVs support this.

That's the same resolution as Netflix Basic supports, though Standard goes up to 1080p or FHD, and Premium can stream in 4K or UHD.

Henry Cavill wielding his mighty sword in 'The Witcher' season 2.

Henry Cavill in The Witcher (Image credit: Netflx)

What content is available on the ad-enabled Netflix tier?

Unfortunately, Netflix Basic with Ads doesn't offer the full Netflix library.

Netflix hasn't said what's missing, but has said that about 10% of the library will be missing due to licensing restrictions.

We'd imagine that most Netflix Originals will be available, since Netflix owns the rights to the majority, but third-party content (the stuff that cycles) could be missing.

Do adverts play on Netflix Kids profiles?

In Netflix, you can designate a profile as one for children, and then it'll only show content appropriate for them.

On these profiles, ads won't play, even if it's an ad-enabled account.

What types of adverts will play?

Netflix has given a little information on how adverts will be personalized for you.

Apparently, the genre of video and any information you've provided to Netflix will be used, which likely includes your viewing history. 

When you sign up to the ad tier, you'll have to provide your gender and date of birth, and Netflix also knows your location, so these factors will be included too.

Does Netflix Basic with ads miss any other features?

Unfortunately, if you have the Netflix ad tier, you won't be able to download videos to watch when you're offline.

Surprisingly, the cheap tier lets you play Netflix games and they don't have adverts before or during them.

Tom Bedford
Streaming and Ecommerce Writer

Tom is the streaming and ecommerce writer at What to Watch, covering streaming services in the US and UK. His goal is to help you navigate the busy and confusing online video market, to help you find the TV, movies and sports that you're looking for without having to spend too much money.