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Netflix’s ad-supported tier is now available for $6.99 a month, but it doesn’t work at all on the Apple TV streaming device.
While it’s clear that the app needs to be updated for the tier to function on Apple TV, it’s not clear why the company decided to not make this available on Apple TV hardware for launch day. It is available on Chromecast, consoles, iOS, Amazon Fire, and natively on a wide array of smart televisions.
“Basic with ads plan support on tvOS is not available at launch but coming soon,” Variety was told.
Users on the $6.99 Basic With Ads tier periodically see commercials in the middle of programming, with four to five minutes per streaming hour occupied with ads.
Not all content will be interrupted by commercials. Major releases coming to Netflix, such as “Knives Out 2,” will have a preroll of spots but will play the movie without further interruptions.
“We’ll try to preserve that sort of cinematic model there,” said Netflix COO and product head Greg Peters. Film that have “been on the service for a while” will have a combination of pre-roll and mid-roll ads, but with “less frequent breaks.”
Subscribers of the ad-supported tier will have access to almost the entire Netflix catalog, with exceptions for some content due to licensing restrictions. Up to 10% of content will be absent on a rotating basis due to deals between Netflix and studios.
Basic with Ads will be limited to 720p streaming, with only one stream allowed per account, and no downloading of content.
The $6.99-and-ads tier could be helpful for Netflix to attract more viewers in a heavily-saturated market, and one that will get tougher to consume at the value end of the spectrum. Disney is also working on its own ad-supported service that will cost a dollar more.