The dawn of streaming with advertising has arrived. This week, Netflix’s ad-supported tier went live on several platforms. Current subscribers can essentially “downgrade” their account to the $7/month tier for Netflix Basics With Ads. It’s a little pricier than competing streaming services, but Netflix hopes you’ll find its content worth the extra few bucks.
But according to 9to5Mac, the ad-supported tier isn’t currently available on Apple TV’s hardware. A Netflix representative confirmed to Variety that “Basic With Ads plan support on tvOS is not available at launch but coming soon.” Seeing as how that’s Apple TV’s operating system, the new Netflix tier is a no-go for the streaming set-top box currently. It’s mentioned on Netflix’s support page, too.
I don’t feel bad for Apple TV users in this instance. If anything, I bet they’re secretly jumping for joy. They don’t have to deal with advertising interspersed between episodes of Unsolved Mysteries (although, honestly, you might want that built-in break between revelations there).
The Basic with Ads tier is also limited to 720p streaming, with only one streaming instance allowed per account. You also can’t download content for offline viewing, and up to 10% of the content isn’t accessible because of streaming rights. Basically, it’s the Netflix barebones I-just-want-to-catch-up-on-Witcher subscription price.
Netflix’s ad-supported subscription plan has plenty of competition. NBC’s Peacock Premium and CBS’ Paramount+ have ad-supported tiers starting at $5/month. Discovery+ also starts at that price, if you want commercial-laden access to every title in the 90 Day Fiance franchise, but we’re waiting to see what happens when the Warner Bros. merger officially goes through. For now, HBO Max costs $10/month with ads. Starting plans pricier than Netflix are Disney+ (which gets ads in December) and Hulu (with ads), which cost $8/month, though they’re often bundled together.