Netflix with Ads has finally launched on Apple TV – it only took four months

Apple TV 4K 2022 and Siri remote on white background
The Apple TV 4K 2022 (Image credit: Future)

Months after its launch on other platforms, Netflix’s cheapest ad-supported tier is finally available on your Apple TV streaming device.

Netflix launched its Basic with Ads subscription back in November 2022. This budget tier costs just $6.99 / £4.99 / AU$6.99 per month, and gives you access to most of Netflix’s catalog at a discounted rate in exchange for you having to sit through a few ads (typically around five minutes per hour). The content will be shown in the same 720p quality as Netflix’s Basic tier, and due to “licensing restrictions” some shows aren’t available on the ad-supported tier.

Another strange restriction of the cheaper tier was that Apple TV streaming device users couldn’t access Netflix with ads – instead being restricted to the ad-free Basic, Standard, and Premium tiers.

That limitation now seems to have been lifted however,  with Netflix confirming to TechCrunch that Netflix’s Basic with Ads tier is finally available on tvOS after some users spotted it was available. 

Should you get Netflix with Ads?

To take advantage of the cheaper tier you’ll need to update the Netflix tvOS app to the latest 2.3.0 update. As for whether the tier is right for you, you’ll have to decide that for yourself.

Netflix on a TV screen with a remote control pointing at it

Netflix's Basic with Ads tier isn't great, but you can still access the service on a budget (Image credit: Freestocks/Unsplash)

Basic’s inferior picture quality can already be a letdown – especially for people who've invested in one of the best 4K TVs – and the addition of ads can disrupt the flow of shows you’re watching. However, if you’re trying to cut costs, and don’t want to lose access to Netflix completely, the Basic with Ads tier is certainly not a bad option.

Update: Netflix is improving the picture quality and number of simultaneous streams in the Basic with Ads plan.

If you are sticking with Netflix, be sure to check out our explainer on how Netflix’s password-sharing rules could impact you. Or, read our best streaming services recommendations for details of alternative options.

Hamish Hector
Senior Staff Writer, News

Hamish is a Senior Staff Writer for TechRadar and you’ll see his name appearing on articles across nearly every topic on the site from smart home deals to speaker reviews to graphics card news and everything in between. He uses his broad range of knowledge to help explain the latest gadgets and if they’re a must-buy or a fad fueled by hype. Though his specialty is writing about everything going on in the world of virtual reality and augmented reality.