Netflix‘s ad-based subscription tier launched in all intended major markets today, and it’s already looking like customers should pay close attention to fine print (that will not be included when purchasing). In the most generous read on the situation, Netflix has created an option for people to pay a little less in money and pay a little more in their attention spans to companies trying to get their money. It’s a classic TV model, and mostly we’re all upset because we thought we’d destroyed it and left it for the octogenarians still wandering the wasteland of original episodes of NCIS. But is it really that bad? Probably not.
Except for the bad part. As Variety reports, you don’t get all of Netflix when you buy the ad-supported Netflix.
You’re paying for ads and 10% less Netflix choices. That includes losing access to a lot of shows that most people probably want. That list includes Arrested Development, House of Cards (their own show!), New Girl, The Good Place, and several more. Some movies, like Skyfall and The Imitation Game, also disappear from your screen options with the ad-based option. Plus, there’s no telling if and when this list will expand.
This is a combination of one of the worst elements of the streaming era (figuring out where and when TV shows and movies are available) and a shoddy subscription model, creating a beast that’s more than a wee exploitative. How can you reliable tell potential customers what they’ll have access to when they sign up? And what’s the point of removing access to those shows anyway?
Boo-urns. This is the bad place.