Streaming service, Netflix’s upcoming ad-supported plan could block offline viewing services, as suggested by the code. This discovery came about when developer Steve Moser found code for the ad-supported plan within the Netflix iPhone app that suggested the streamer will block users from downloading titles to their devices for offline viewing. Text in the code stated, “Downloads available on all plans except Netflix with ads.” It also suggested users would be directed to personalize their ad experience and would not be able to skip commercials, as is expected.
Netflix Intends to Launch its Ad-Supported Plan in Early 2023
Moreover, Netflix declined to comment on the downloads feature specifically but suggested it may be a part of the final ad-supported plan product. “We are still in the early days of deciding how to launch a lower priced, ad-supported option and no decisions have been made. So, this is all just speculation at this point,” a Netflix spokesperson told us. While the streaming giant is still in the process of setting up the ad-supported plan and intends to launch in early 2023, this discovery may be a hint of what is in store for Netflix subscribers looking for a cheaper way to stream.
Taking away the download option on the ad-supported plan will likely turn off some subscribers from switching to the tier — which could, at least partially, be the intention. Those who regularly utilize the feature, like frequent travelers, would be driven to higher-priced plans without this key feature. Netflix would not be alone in its choice. HBO Max, Peacock, and other streamers with ad-supported plans often don’t offer a download function either. Only premium subscribers are allowed to view content offline.
Netflix May Also Block Certain Shows and Films from its Cheaper Tier
A missing downloads feature may not be the only drawback to the new low-cost tier. The company recently said certain TV series and films will be missing from the ad-supported version at launch, as well. Netflix intends to launch the new ad-supported plan in early 2023. It has not yet determined the exact pricing.