You can now watch Netflix with ads, but not on the Apple TV

Watching 720p Netflix with ads on one of the best streaming boxes would suck, anyway.

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The new Apple TV 4K and Siri Remote.
Raymond Wong / Inverse
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Netflix is launching the $6.99 per month ad-supported subscription tier of its streaming service today, but notably skipping one major streaming device platform: the Apple TV.

As spotted by 9to5Mac, Netflix’s support pages list the new Netflix “Basic with ads” plans as not available on Apple TV. While other streaming devices might be more popular — Roku Streaming Sticks or Amazon Fire TV Sticks are cheap — missing Apple’s box is notable because the company just released an improved version of the Apple TV 4K (2022).

There doesn’t seem to be a particular hardware reason why new streaming service plan doesn’t work with Apple TV set-top boxes. In the meantime, here’s what we know about the issue and Netflix’s new “Basic with ads” plan.

When will Netflix “Basic with ads” work on Apple TV?

There’s no explanation why the ad-supported Netflix plan works on iOS, Android, Chromecast with Google TV, and various Fire TV devices, but not Apple TV devices. A fix seems to be in the works. Netflix told Inverse that Apple TV support is “coming soon,” which means it’s likely just a bug, but didn’t provide a more specific timeline.

What does Netflix “Basic with ads” include?

Netflix’s “Basic with ads” plan is the company’s take on a low-cost subscription option that’s subsidized with ads, and for the most part, it seems to be a pretty competitive one. For $6.99 a month you get video quality that maxes out at 720p HD and an average of 4–5 minutes of ads for every hour you watch. The only real limitations are you’re not able to download content to watch later and you’re not getting Netflix’s entire library of movies and TV shows. Netflix Games is included, though, and without ads.

Negotiations on what’s actually going to be included in the plan have been coming down to the wire. The Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday that several popular streaming titles like Breaking Bad and Grey’s Anatomy, and Netflix Originals that are made by other production companies like The Crown, Cobra Kai, and You might not be available on the ad-supported plan at launch. Basically, if Netflix stands to make a bit more money selling ads against its popular shows and movies, the companies that originally made them want to renegotiate their fees to match.

Which countries are getting the Netflix “Basic with ads” plan?

It’ll take a while yet to see how successful Netflix’s new ad-supported plan is at drawing in new subscribers, but if you live in Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Spain, the U.K., or the U.S. you can try it out today and see for yourself.

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