Netflix to rollout ‘Basic with Ads’ tier in Canada in November

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Netflix has announced it’s launching its lower-priced ad-supported “Basic with Ads” plan in Canada in November. 

Basic with Ads will be rolled out in 12 countries, including the U.S., UK, Australia, Brazil, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Korea, Mexico, and Spain.

Starting Nov. 1, Canadian consumers can access the cheaper tier at $5.99 a month. The streamer’s Basic, Standard and Premium plans will remain ad-free.

Netflix says Basic with Ads offers all the features of its Basic plan, with a few differences, including an average of four to five minutes of ads per hour and no ability to download titles. A limited number of movies and TV shows won’t be available on the Basic with Ads offering due to licensing restrictions. Netflix has also announced it’s boosting resolution on its Basic and Basic with Ads plans from 480p to 720p/HD.

The streaming giant has built Basic with Ads within a six-month time frame, in partnership with Microsoft. The rollout will start in Canada and Mexico, and launch in the UK and U.S., among other countries on Nov. 3, followed by Spain on Nov. 10.

Video ads will range from 15-30 seconds and play at the beginning and middle of a title. Netflix says frequency caps will be tight so viewers don’t see the same ad repeatedly. The streamer says hundreds of advertisers have signed on for the launch, from automakers to travel retailers and luxury brands.

Netflix is promising advertisers broad targeting capabilities by country and genre (e.g. action, drama, romance, sci-fi). In addition, advertisers will be able to prevent their ads from appearing on content featuring sex, nudity or violence. Netflix has partnered with DoubleVerify and Integral Ad Science to verify the viewability and traffic validity of ads on the service, starting in Q1 2023. Nielsen has also signed on as an audience measurement partner in the U.S., which will reflect Netflix traffic in its Digital Ad Ratings (DAR), starting next year. 

The streamer says Basic with Ads “represents an exciting opportunity for advertisers — the chance to reach a diverse audience, including younger viewers who increasingly don’t watch linear TV, in a premium environment with a seamless, high-resolution ads experience.” 

Netflix says with streaming now surpassing broadcast and cable in the U.S., it’s confident it now has “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 — and couldn’t be more excited about what’s ahead. As we learn from and improve the experience, we expect to launch in more countries over time,” the streamer added.

The move to introduce the cheaper tier within a tight timeframe follows a loss of 1 million viewers in the second quarter of 2022. Shares have traded down 60 – 70% this year with the company blaming password sharing and increased competition, in addition to a challenged economic climate in some of its territories.

Netflix told a press call that the streamer had three of its biggest series ever this quarter including Stranger Things (Season 4), Ryan Murphy’s DAHMER – MONSTER: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story, and Korean legal drama Extraordinary Attorney Woo.


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