The Netflix with Ads plan has launched on the Apple TV after months of delays

Following several months of delays, Netflix’s ad-supported subscription tier can now be enjoyed in the tvOS Netflix app on Apple’s set-top box.

Netflix logo set against a black background, shown on a TV set
Are you ready for Netflix with Ads? | Image: Thibault Penin/Unsplash
  • What’s happening? Netflix’s cheaper subscription tier, dubbed “Basic with Ads,” is now available on the Apple TV after debuting in November 2022.
  • Why care? This plan initially had issues on tvOS. The company said it would resolve problems in a future update. It’s now made good on that promise.
  • What to do? Go to the Netflix page in the tvOS App Store to update the app.

Netflix with Ads launches on the Apple TV

Before this change, trying to use this tier in Netflix’s tvOS app greeted you with a message saying, “Your plan does not support streaming on this device.”

After months of delay, Apple confirmed to TechCrunch that the ad-supported subscription plan is now available to use on the Apple TV 4K and Apple TV HD. You need at least version 2.3.0 of the app to use Netflix with Ads on the Apple TV.

This ad tier also works on iOS, iPadOS, Android, macOS, Windows, Amazon Fire TV, Chromecast with Google TV, some game consoles and many, many smart TVs.

Why was Netflix with Ads delayed on the Apple TV?

You can wait for automatic updates to deliver the updated Netflix app to your Apple set-top box, which can take weeks. Alternatively, manually install the update. To do so, open the App Store app on your Apple TV and use the search feature to land on the Netflix page, then hit the Update button to immediately apply the update.

The Basic with Ads tier debuted in November 2022 without Apple TV support. Contrary to popular belief, it didn’t happen due to Netflix’s pettiness—older Google Chromecast boxes were also excluded from accessing Netflix with Ads.

Instead, software issues prevented ad-supported playback on some devices. At the time of writing, the Chromecast and Chromecast Ultra devices, the PlayStation 3 and the Netflix app for Windows still couldn’t access the ad-supported tier.

What perks does the Netflix with Ads plan offer?

A table comparing the features and pricing of Netflix's plans: Basic with Ads, Basic, Standard and Premium
A comparison of Netflix’s subscriptions tiers | Image: Netflix

At $7/month, Netflix with Ads is more affordable than its other plans. The ad-supported subscription tier serves five minutes of 15-30 second ads every hour, but some movies and TV shows are unavailable. Also, this plan limits video resolution to 720p and doesn’t let you download shows for offline watching.

By contrast, Netflix Basic ($10/month) includes ad-free 720p movies and shows on one device, with offline downloads supported on one device at a time. Netflix’s ad-supported plans are available in Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Spain, the United Kingdom and the United States.