Since November 3, the popular streaming service Netflix has been offering the new “Basic subscription with advertising” for a monthly price of EUR 4.99. The new tariff supplements the previously available "Basic" (7.99 euros), "Standard" (12.99 euros) and "Premium" (17.99 euros) subscription models, which will remain ad-free. At least three euros a month can be saved compared to the next more expensive tariff. What subscribers can expect with the "Basic subscription with advertising".
Netflix previously announced an average of four to five minutes of advertising per hour. However, a test of actual supply highlights the unpredictability of the disruptions.
Most films and series episodes have a commercial break before the start of the program. This is usually 30 seconds long, can be paused, but of course not skipped. The length of the commercial break and the number of individual spots is shown in the image.
Not all films and series episodes actually had an advertising block at the beginning of the test, but it is the rule.
Netflix previously announced that commercial breaks within the program should not detract from the viewer experience of major prestige productions. And in fact, the film "Enola Holmes 2", which was only released on November 4th, starring "Stranger Things" star Millie Bobby Brown (18) runs through after the initial commercial block without any further disruptive interruptions.
With other programs, however, the number of minutes previously announced by Netflix is reached. A 54-minute series episode begins with the aforementioned commercial break, after 22 minutes there is a 90-second break, after 31 minutes there is a 75-second commercial break, and after 42 minutes there are more 75-second spots. In total, that makes 4:30 advertising per almost one-hour series episode.
As Netflix had also announced in advance, some films and series will not be available at the start of the "Basic subscription with advertising" tariff. This is for licensing reasons. Netflix wants to improve this in the future.
In the series area, the popular shows missing at the start of the new advertising tariff: "Vikings", "Brooklyn Nine-Nine", "The Last Kingdom", "Arrested Development", "The Office" (US version), "Good Girls", "Downtown Abbey", "The Sinner", "Suits" and "House of Cards". The unavailability of a series is indicated by a red lock icon on the series tile.
Some prominent titles are also missing in the film sector, such as "Inglourious Basterds", "Pitch Perfect", "The Hustle", "Central Intelligence", "Booksmart", "Schindler's List", "Gladiator" and "The Wolf of Wall Street".
So if you are considering subscribing to the new "Basic subscription with advertising", you should first check whether your favorite series or film is actually available.
In the "basic subscription with advertising" for EUR 4.99 per month, only one stream can be viewed at the same time. An image resolution of just 720p, i.e. 1280x720 pixels, corresponds to the next more expensive “basic subscription”. The image resolution is sufficient on devices such as smartphones, tablets or laptops. On larger, higher-resolution smart TVs, a reduction in viewing pleasure is to be expected.
The download function is not available with the "basic subscription with advertising", which could pose a problem especially for user groups such as commuters who want to view their content on the way to or from work.
Also, the subscription with advertising cannot currently be used on every device. As Netflix itself announces, Apple TV and older Chromecast models without Google TV are currently not supported. There are also some other limitations. For example, Android version 7 or higher must be installed on an Android smartphone or tablet in order to use the "Basic subscription with advertising". iOS 15 or higher must be installed on the iPad, iPhone or iPod touch.