Netflix With Ads Goes Live, Signaling The End Of An Era

For years, Netflix was the undisputed king of online streaming. It was often the only place to stream certain TV shows and had its fair share of original programming like the blockbuster series "Stranger Things." Within the past few years, seemingly every studio and production company on the planet has debuted its own streaming service. Now Netflix is just another option in the sea of streaming services, and a struggling one at that. Platforms like Disney+, Apple TV+, Paramount+, and Amazon Prime are all vying for streaming supremacy in what can be a confusing mess of options. 

Most paid streaming services don't have ads showing during playback, but over the past few months, Netflix was hoping to change that with a basic no-frills tier at a lower price. Now that tier has appeared in the flesh, according to the Verge and the stripped-down budget tier looks like it will have limited functionality for customers who want to stream without paying out the nose.

Netflix's budget tier

Priced at $6.99 a month, the new "Basic" tier is one of the cheaper streaming options out there in the wasteland of services. For roughly the price of a two-cheeseburger meal at McDonald's per month, customers will get 720p streaming... and that's about it. Netflix confirmed in a tweet that current customers who are happy with their current streaming plan don't have to do anything, and their plan will stay the same.

Customers will have a slightly more limited library of available titles to choose from and according to a blog post from Netflix and ads totaling four to five minutes per hour, consisting of about 15-30 seconds per ad. In the post, Netflix's COO Greg Peters says: "We're confident that with Netflix starting at $6.99 a month, we now have a price and plan for every fan. While it's still very early days, we're pleased with the interest from both consumers and the advertising community." Although it's more likely the latter that's happy about the deal.