Skip to content

When it comes to bills, one or two streaming services may be manageable but many people share their accounts to get access to even more content. But watch out: Netflix is cracking down on account sharing. Tap or click here to see what will happen if you’re caught.

If you find yourself crunching numbers to make your budget work, you’ve probably thought of switching to Netflix’s ad-supported streaming tier. While you still get access to most content, you’ll have to sit through several advertising breaks.

The additional viewing tier became available earlier this month. Saving money is great, but it has a significant compatibility problem. Before making the switch, read what you must know about the cheaper streaming tier.

Here’s the backstory

Netflix’s new Basic with Ads plan costs $6.99 per month. Compare that to the Basic plan at $9.99, Standard at $15.49 and Premium at $19.99.

There are a couple of caveats that come with the lower price. Some movies and TV shows won’t be available due to licensing restrictions, though Netflix says it’s working on this. And you won’t be able to download content to watch when you’re offline.

If you’re considering Netflix’s cheapest option, we hope you have some of the latest systems to watch it on. If not, you may not be able to subscribe.

Netflix says that any user can downgrade to the ad-supported tier, but what it left out was that not all devices are compatible — especially older ones.

For example, if you want to watch something on your Apple TV, you’ll be out of luck. Users have noted an ominous message saying: “Basic with Ads isn’t supported on Apple TV.”

And that’s not the only device that’s seemingly incompatible with the five minutes of ad breaks per hour. Attempt to log in to Netflix through any Chromecast (except for the latest model), and you’ll also get a similar warning.

Other devices that are not compatible with Netflix’s Basic with Ads tier are:

  • Apple devices running iOS 14 or earlier
  • Android devices running version 6 or earlier
  • Sony’s PlayStation 3 gaming console
  • The Netflix app for Windows

What you can do about it

This is bad news for anybody who wants to cut back on streaming spending. To make it worse, Netflix doesn’t have a solution other than using another device, staying on a compatible tier or forking over more money.

There’s no consensus on why Netflix excluded those devices, but it might have something to do with Disney+ launching a similarly priced model.

You can always upgrade to a new device, but that kind of defeats the purpose of saving, right?

Keep reading

This simple trick can save you hundreds of dollars a year on streaming

Sick of streaming services? How to find and record your shows for free