Netflix launched the ad tier on Thursday, with several popular series missing from the streamer’s library due to licensing restrictions, including originals House of cards and Arrested Development.
While the titles still appear in the Discover tab and search function, a small lock icon appears in the upper right corner to indicate that subscribers on the Basic with Ads plan do not have access.
As expected, several other series are also not available with the ad level included Peaky Blinders, New girl, The magicians, The Last Kingdom, The sinner, Good girls, The good placeand Friday Night Lights as well as a number of films from various studios.
House of cards was Netflix’s first major statement of intent in the original space. From David Fincher, the series, which starred Kevin Spacey as Frank Underwood, received a two-season order and launched in February 2013.
The political drama series, which also starred Robin Wright, Kate Mara, Corey Stoll and Michael Kelly, was a hit for the streamer before sexual assault allegations against Spacey prompted it to produce a sixth and final season without his involvement.
Like many of Netflix’s earliest originals, it was licensed, rather than owned, and the adaptation of the British series was produced and distributed by Sony Pictures Television.
Arrested Development was also one of Netflix’s first original comedies. The series, which aired for three seasons on Fox, was brought back to life on the streamer in 2013 with a fourth season and a fifth season split into two parts in 2018 and 2019.
From creator Mitch Hurwitz, it starred Jason Bateman, Portia De Rossi, Will Arnett, Alia Shawkat, Tony Hale, David Cross, Jeffrey Tambor and Jessica Walter and followed the wealthy dysfunctional Bluth family. It came from 20th Television and Imagine Television.
Netflix executives had already indicated that roughly 5% to 10% of its programming would be missing from the Basic With Ads tier at launch, though it had not been clear until now which titles would be affected. Having built a streaming powerhouse on the premise of an ad-free experience for both consumers and creators, it’s not possible for Netflix to just flip the switch and have all titles available both with and without ads. Instead, the move has required a months-long process of acquiring rights and revising contracts.
Netflix’s Basic With Ads plan was published at 09:00 PT in the US, UK, Australia, Japan, Brazil, France, Germany, Italy and South Korea. Prices vary by region, but at $6.99 per month in the US, the plan is on the low end of the streaming spectrum — less than half the most popular option, which costs $15.49.