The so-called “basic subscription with advertising” is now available in Germany and costs only 4.99 euros as an entry-level tariff instead of 7.99 euros. However, if Netflix does not immediately increase the price of the ad-free basic tariff, the new offer is likely to fail with a bang. The reasons.

First of all – the advertising of the new advertising subscription on Netflix is ​​better integrated than on other services such as YouTube and not nearly as intrusive. But: The apparently young system of regular interruptions is still not really well solved. In this test, the star reveals why the subscription is actually hardly worth it.

Lots of cuts – for really little savings

The main reason that the new tariff is so unattractive is the price. A whopping three euros can be saved a month if you let yourself be sprinkled with advertising from time to time. Actually, the “basic subscription with advertising” should be free – or cost a symbolic euro – so that it becomes a serious alternative for viewers.

There are also other cuts that make the offer even worse. Because due to different license agreements for various series and films, a lot of content is not available in the advertising subscription. This is reflected in the overview with a large lock on the preview image and also affects highlights such as “Inglourious Basterds” or “The Office”, sometimes even “Netflix Originals” such as “Uncoupled” or “Arrested Development”. With a free advertising subscription, the understanding of the different catalogs would be a little better.

Another drastic difference: If you book a tariff with advertising, you are not allowed to download any content. This is such a big disadvantage for users who travel frequently that the new tariff is definitely out of the question. In addition, Netflix limits the resolution in the basic subscription with or without advertising to 720p, i.e. 1280×720 pixels. Only in the standard tariff for 12.99 euros does the provider increase to Full HD (1920 × 1080 pixels), Ultra HD (3840 x 2160 pixels) is only available for premium customers who pay 17.99 euros a month.

Integration of commercials is okay

When it comes to ads, Netflix is ​​one thing above all else: unpredictable. It seems that as a viewer you have a kind of hourly allotment of advertising that you have to consume. Once that’s done, there won’t be any more spots. In fact, Netflix officially speaks of “around four minutes” per hour, in the test it was a maximum of three.

However, not evenly distributed. Sometimes a two-and-a-half-hour film like “Nothing New in the West” could be watched in one go and without interruption, followed by an episode of “The Watcher” with three large commercial blocks, each with three to four spots and a total length of around 70 seconds each. Most individual spots are no longer than 15 seconds, rarely more.

The spacing between commercials, provided they play mid-roll, that is, in the course of an episode or film, is arbitrary. Sometimes it’s 20 minutes, sometimes under ten. After all, the interruptions follow – not like on YouTube – in the middle of the sentence, but seem to be somewhat adjusted and usually set the pause after a completed conversation.

With the variety of advertising partners, Netflix cannot be blamed. There were two repetitions in a total of 25 spots. Measured by the time that has elapsed in between, there are fewer duplications than on private television. As a customer, Netflix has apparently brought the classics on board, there are new cars to see, perfume, game consoles and fully automatic coffee machines. That’s a good solution when you consider that the same spot often runs two or even three times in a row at the competitor Discovery.

Incidentally, advertising cannot be prevented in the browser with an ad blocker or other software. During the test on the television, it was noticed that there must be a small error. Because if you are blessed with a “pre-roll” in a “new hour”, i.e. a spot before the start of the series, it helps to go back into the menu three to four times and start the series again. At some point, the content you want begins to appear—and the ads are gone.

At the start there is another problem with the new subscription, which will soon be fixed with an update. And the advertising Netflix is ​​currently not running on all receivers, especially on the Apple TV. If you want to start Netflix there, you will be asked to change the device or the tariff. As already mentioned, both are not worth the stress of three euros a month.

Conclusion: If it were free, there would be nothing wrong with it. But as…

A day of advertising on Netflix. The service, which became so big precisely because there was no advertising in the beginning and you could watch new series in one go to your heart’s content. A day of misunderstanding.

The advertising tariff is neither sensible nor technically flawless. In terms of price, the three euros are really not worth having to accept the disadvantages that arise in addition to the interruptions.

The advertising is actually the smallest problem – because (currently) it is relatively reserved and at least not too repetitive.

Much larger are other incisions. The numerous missing contents and the deactivated download function simply cannot be justified with a saving of three euros. If Billo-Netflix, then at least basic without advertising.