Starting this month, Netflix is rolling out changes to its basic ad-supported plan. The popular streaming platform announced video quality will improve from 720p to 1080p while also expanding to let subscribers stream on two supported devices at once.
“Given current healthy performance and trajectory of our per-member advertising economics, particularly in the US, we’re upgrading our ads experience with more streams and improved video quality to attract a broader range of consumers.” – Q1 Shareholder Letter
The ad-supported plan is available in Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Spain, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Canada and Spain were the first to see the improved video quality on April 18th, 2023, while the remaining countries will be upgraded by the end of this month.
The ad-supported plan offers almost all of the same films and series available on Netflix’s digital library as well as unlimited mobile games. Approximately 95 percent of the Basic package content will be available to Basic with Ads plan. Depending on your viewing preferences, this could have no effect on your binging habits. Customers will still be able to see the full catalog available to the ad-free plans to see what they’re missing (or not).
Netflix’s ad-supported plan originally went live in November of 2022 as a way to combat membership losses after initiating a password-sharing surcharge to current membership plans. The platform received ample backlash after announcing the discontinuation of password sharing, once encouraged during the company’s early days. This policy is expected to go into effect in Q2.
While its goal is to acquire more members, this cheaper ad-supported plan could potentially inspire current members to downgrade their subscriptions to the cheaper option, only $3 a month less than the basic plan. So far, Netflix is reporting the ad-supported plan is already exceeding revenue for the traditional basic plan.