Launching in early 2023, the “Netflix with ads” cheaper tier will not support the download feature for offline viewing. Bloomberg reports that developer Steve Moser has found a code in Netflix’s iOS app which contains the text that “Downloads available on all plans except Netflix with ads” and more.
The popular streamer offers the download feature for subscribers to download episodes or movies to watch offline when they don’t have access to a Wi-Fi connection or cellular data.
“Netflix with ads” with limitations like the inability to skip ads, download content, and more
After hints of a new tier were discovered in Netflix’s app, the streamer announced that it will launch the cheaper ad-supported plan next year in partnership with Microsoft as its technology and sales partner.
Previously, the company’s co-CEO and Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos told that Netflix with ads will not be Netlifx’s complete catalog. It will include all of Netflix’s original series but not all of its licensed content from the U.S studios and international distributions.
Now, the app’s code has revealed more details about the upcoming cheaper tier. It is found that Netflix with ads will also not let users skip ads and run tailored ads, along with incompatibility with the download feature.
“Downloads available on all plans except Netflix with ads,” according to text in the app. The code also suggests that users won’t be able to skip ads — a common move in the streaming world — and playback controls won’t be available during ad breaks
Netflix’s app has additional hidden references to its ad expansion, including text about helping Netflix tailor ads to specific users. “Now, let’s set up your ad experience. We just need a few details to make sure you get the most relevant ads on Netflix. It’ll be really quick, we promise!” one message reads.
Netflix is facing a “subscribers drain” issue; the company lost 200,000 subscribers in Q1, 2022 after a decade, and in Q2, 2022, it lost a million subscribers. To make up for lost subscribers, the streamer increases its subscription price but is also preparing to launch a cheaper plan with limitations to distinguish it from its high-tier plans.
The ad-supported tier will provide a cheaper alternative to customers scared off by the service’s rising prices. The service’s premium level, which offers 4K resolution and up to four streams at the same, is $20 a month in the US.
The early clues suggest Netflix is strictly limiting the frills on the ad-based service. With its regular plans, users can download content for viewing in places without reliable internet access, such as airplanes. The lack of that option could help Netflix upsell users to its higher-end tiers after it hooks them on the ad-supported version.