Netflix's Ad-Supported Tier Might Not Let You Download Videos

netflix icon with ad skip AH

Netflix, like Disney+, is preparing to launch an ad-supported tier that will cost less than the regular plan. We all have mixed feelings about this, as the company notes that there will be some cutbacks with this new tier.  Now, according to The Tape Drive, Netflix’s ad-supported tier might not let you download videos.

We already know that there could be some cuts made to Netflix’s ad-supported tier. Since all of Netflix’s third-party content is licensed to be shown without ads, the company needs to renew those licenses to include ads. This means that there’s the possibility that some companies won’t renew. If that happens, then Netflix won’t be able to offer it for ad-supported views.

Now, Netflix’s ad-supported tier might not let you download videos

This is speculation at this point, so don’t get the torches and pitchforks out just yet. The Tape Drive’s Steve Moser found a line hidden within the iOS Netflix app. It reads. “Downloads available on all plans except Netflix with ads.


That’s about as straightforward as anything can get. It seems that Netflix will restrict the ability to download videos to its higher tiers. Right now, we can’t say whether that will or will not happen. Netflix has neither confirmed nor denied this; however, the company did issue a statement to TechCrunch:

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.

With that statement, it’s hard to tell whether the ad-supported tier will actually restrict downloads. There’s still a lot up in the air about this future pay tier, so we’ll need to wait for an official announcement from the company.


This decision makes sense

Netflix’s ad-supported tier eliminating downloads might make some people upset, but it all makes sense. Think about it: there’s no sense in having an ad-supported tier if you’re not watching the ads.

Downloading the content and watching it while offline is a way to bypass looking at the ads. Why watch ads when you could just download a season of your favorite show while you shower and watch it offline? Sure, it’s more work, but people WILL do that.

Doing that will not only reduce how much money the company will make on ad revenue, but people will likely jump from their current plan to the cheaper plan just to pay less every month. Cutting the ability to watch downloaded content might not sound like the most consumer plan, but business is business.