It seems Netflix’s ad-supported tier will have even more differences from the higher tiers, as a new report suggests subscribers to Netflix’s upcoming cheapest plan won’t have the ability to download shows to watch later.
First reported by Bloomberg, code found inside the Netflix iPhone app revealed that users for the ad-supported tier won’t be able to download series and movies for offline viewing. As expected, the code also shows that customers won’t be able to skip ads, and that playback controls will be unavailable during ad breaks.
Netflix Spotlight: August 2022
Currently, Netflix subscribers on mobile devices can download content to watch when offline. For example, this is particularly useful when getting ready for a flight, as you can download stuff to watch without paying for in-flight wifi.
This isn’t the only limitation we’ve heard about for the ad-supported tier, as last month we learned Netflix’s ad tier might not include every Netflix show.
Netflix is targeting early 2023 for its ad-supported tier. The tier will offer a lower subscription cost for the tradeoff of unskippable advertisements while streaming content. Some of Netflix’s competitors use a similar system, and Disney+ is adding an ad tier of its own starting in December. We also know Netflix is partnering with Microsoft to create the tier, as Microsoft will serve as Netflix’s “technology and sales partner to help power their first ad-supported subscription offering”.
The ad-supported tier is coming as Netflix is dealing with losing nearly 1 million subscribers. The company is also in the midst of a password sharing crackdown, testing the ability in certain markets to purchase additional “homes” to use your Netflix account in.
There’s been some good news for Netflix lately too, with Stranger Things 4 becoming one of the most-watched series in Netflix history.
Logan Plant is a freelance writer for IGN. You can find him on Twitter @LoganJPlant.