In a world where streaming platforms are hiking prices left and right, Netflix has come up with a fresh take to enhance the viewing experience on its platform, this time aimed at the budget-conscious Brit.
The streaming giant is adding the ability to download content for offline watching to its low-cost Ad-Supported plan. This move is unique to Netflix, setting it apart in a crowded market.
And it’s probably not a coincidence that this was announced on the same day Disney+ is launching its new ad-supported tier – which does NOT include downloads.
Additionally, Netflix is introducing a ‘Binge-Ad’ format, adding a new flavour to the way audiences consume series and advertisers reach viewers.
Here’s everything you need to know from Netflix’s announcement today.
Netflix’s Tiers In The UK
Netflix has long been known for its ad-free viewing experience, but times change, and so has Netflix’s approach.
The platform introduced an Ad-Supported tier late last year, aiming to provide an affordable option for viewers.
This new tier came with adverts but at a lower cost compared to Netflix’s Standard and Premium plans. The Ad-Supported plan was Netflix’s way of diversifying its revenue streams while catering to a wider audience.
The cheaper tier with ads allowed Netflix to retain cost-conscious viewers and attract new ones, all while opening up a new avenue for advertisers.
Last month, Netflix also raised the cost of its Premium tier to all subscribers – as well as that of the Basic tier, for existing customers who are still subscribed to it. The price of the ad-supported tier, however, remained the same.
Therefore, Netflix currently has 4 pricing plans in the UK:
- The Standard with Adverts Plan at £4.99/month – lets you stream content in Full HD (1080p), on 2 devices at a time, with adverts.
- The Basic Plan at £7.99/month (only for legacy subscribers) – lets you stream content in HD (720p), on only one device at a time, without adverts
- The Standard Plan at £10.99/month – lets you stream content in Full HD (1080p), on up to 2 devices at a time, without adverts.
- The Premium Plan at £17.99/month – lets you stream some content in UltraHD (4K), on up to 4 devices at a time, without adverts.
Offline Downloads With Ads: A Unique New Feature
Netflix’s recent announcement has added another feather to its cap, making it the only ad-supported streaming platform to offer content downloads for offline viewing.
This feature was previously reserved for the Standard and Premium subscribers, but now it’s being extended to the Ad-Supported plan members as well.
The inclusion of the offline downloads feature is not only a testament to Netflix’s continuous efforts to enhance viewer experience but also a strategic move to stay ahead in the competitive streaming market.
By allowing viewers to download content, Netflix is ensuring that its audience remains engaged with the platform even when they are on the move or in areas with spotty internet connectivity.
Netflix says this feature is set to roll out by the end of this week, and will undoubtedly be a game-changer for some.
We’re not sure yet how this will work technically (and have asked Netflix for more information) – one possibility is that the adverts will be downloaded along with the content, and play when you’re watching (even if you’re offline).
The ‘Binge-Ad’ Format: A New Bonus For Avid Watchers
Come 2024, Netflix is set to introduce a new advertising format dubbed the ‘Binge-Ad’ format, to subscribers of the ad-supported tier.
This new ad model is designed to capitalise on the binge-watching behaviour that’s become synonymous with the Netflix viewing experience.
After a viewer has watched three consecutive episodes of a series, they will be presented with a fourth episode ad-free.
This initiative not only incentivises binge-watching but also promises a better viewing experience amidst minimal ad intrusion.
Moreover, this format can potentially be a win-win situation for both viewers and advertisers.
While viewers get to enjoy an episode without any ad interruptions, advertisers can leverage the anticipation built over three episodes to present their messages in a more engaging manner.
Gearing Up For More
Netflix, in collaboration with its partner Microsoft Advertising, has been striving to elevate the advertising game on its platform.
The past year saw the rollout of new ad durations, enhanced measurement capabilities, and third-party verification with global partners.
In early 2024, Netflix will also launch the ability to showcase QR codes in advertising creative running on the platform (in the US, at first), a feature that could potentially roll out to the UK and other regions in due time.
Furthermore, Netflix is expanding its sponsorship opportunities with Title Sponsorships, Moment Sponsorships, and Live Sponsorships.
This expansion began in the US and is set to go global in 2024, opening up more avenues for advertisers to connect with audiences in a meaningful way.
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