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Netflix’s ad-supported plan likely has another drawback: no video downloads

Getty Images | Bloomberg

Apparently, the presence of ads won’t be the only major difference between Netflix’s ad-supported and ad-free plans. Text found in the Netflix iPhone app code reportedly suggests that the ad-supported plan will not allow users to download movies and shows for offline viewing.

The text reads: “Downloads available on all plans except Netflix with ads,” according to a Bloomberg report yesterday. The text was discovered by iOS developer Steve Moser, who wrote about it on your blog. Unsurprisingly, Netflix’s app 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,” Bloomberg wrote.

Netflix has been offering video downloads in its apps since late 2016. A Netflix spokesperson told Ars: “We are still in the early days of deciding how to launch a lower priced ad-supported tier and no decisions have been made. That this is just speculation at this point.”

Moser’s blog post said he also found the Netflix app text of a setup process for new subscribers who select the ad-supported plan. The text refers to the use of personalized ads. “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 real quick, we promise!” the text says.

Hulu does downloads in a similar way available only to users on their ad-free plans. HBO Max also requires to an ad-free plan to download

Announcement level planned for early 2023

After years of resisting ads, Netflix co-CEO Reed Hastings announced in April that the streaming service will offer an ad-supported tier. Netflix says it plans to release the ad-supported level in early 2023.

Netflix prices in the US they range from $9.99 for “Basic” to $19.99 per month for “Premium”. Netflix He says the “lowest priced ad-supported subscription plan” will be offered “in addition to our existing ad-free basic, standard and premium plans.”

Netflix hasn’t said how much the ad-supported plan will cost or whether it will have other limits like Netflix’s current cheapest plan. The Basic plan, currently the cheapest option, doesn’t provide HD video and has two other notable limits: Basic users can’t watch on more than one screen at a time, and can only download videos to one phone or tablet.

The $15.49 per month Standard plan enables HD video and allows subscribers to watch on two screens simultaneously and download videos on two devices. The $19.99 Premium plan allows for 4K viewing, the ability to view on four screens simultaneously, and downloads on up to four devices.

Netflix loses subscribers

Netflix is ​​also cracking down on account sharing by testing an “additional member” fee in some countries and an “additional household” fee in others. a netflix letter to shareholders He said the company aims to complete a broader fee-sharing implementation next year.

Netflix last month reported a loss of 970,000 paid streaming subscribers in Second Quarter Earnings having lost 200,000 customers in the first quarter of 2022. Worldwide paid memberships fell from 221.64 million to 220.67 million in the second quarter, and revenue growth has slowed sharply.

Netflix says the ad-supported tier is key to improving revenue and profits. “While it will take some time to grow our membership base to the level of ads and associated ad revenue, in the long term, we believe that advertising can enable substantial incremental membership (via lower prices) and revenue growth.” (via ad revenue).” Netflix’s quarterly letter to shareholders said.

Netflix hired Microsoft to provide ad technology, saying “Microsoft offered the flexibility to innovate over time on both the technology and sales sides, as well as strong privacy protections for our members.”


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