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Netflix's cheaper service breaks cover and is missing key features (report)

No-frills offering set to launch in 2023.

Netflix's cheaper service breaks cover and is missing key features (report)
Marc Chacksfield
18 August 2022

Netflix is all set to launch an ad-supported cheaper tier but it's been reported that key features will be missing.

Netflix revealed recently that it was looking to release an ad-supported version of its streaming service. This is set to come in at a cheaper price, sometime in 2023, which will be welcomed by many right now.

The cheaper service may well come with some limitations, though. According to a report by Bloomberg, there are hints in Netflix's code right now which point to the new tier and they reveal that downloads will not be available and the adverts will not be skippable.

“Downloads available on all plans except Netflix with ads,” says the hidden text, and it also reveals that the ads will be contextual with the notice: “Now, let’s set up your ad experience. We just need a few details to make sure you get the most relevant ads on Netflix. It’ll be really quick, we promise!”

Five years of downloads

Downloading Netflix for offline viewing has been a huge hit since it was introduced back in 2016.

Since its release, Netflix has added to the service, offering Smart Downloads (where episodes are deleted after viewing and the next episode automatically downloaded when connected to Wi-Fi), Downloads For You (where programs are automatically downloaded to your device based on your viewing history) and Partial Downloading (so you can finish watching a show even when your Wi-Fi connection disappears).

This feature is particularly popular for those who commute and travel on airplanes where Wi-Fi and data are restricted, so it's no wonder that the feature is set to be held back for the more premium tiers.

Whether it will be a big enough draw for those who try the ad-supported service to try a more premium version of the service will be interesting to see, but this is something that is already done by HBO Max and the like.