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Netflix launching cheaper ad-supported platform next month for $6.99

The plan will include an average of four to five minutes of ads per hour.
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Netflix announced Thursday that its new ad-supported offering will cost $6.99 in the U.S. when it launches Nov. 3.

The company's Basic with Ads plan — cheaper than its $9.99 Basic plan — will include an average of four to five minutes of ads per hour. Video quality will range up to 720p/HD, which will now be the range for the Basic plan, as well.

Users won't be able to download titles, and some titles won't be available because of country licensing restrictions. Advertisers will also be able to block ads from appearing on content that might be inconsistent with their brands, like sex or violence, the company said.

"In short, Basic with Ads is everything people love about Netflix, at a lower price, with a few ads in-between," the company said in a release.

At 221 million subscribers globally, Netflix remains the largest worldwide streaming service. But its shares have lost 62% of their value this year amid questions about its ability to keep growing its user base, with the company having lost subscribers in the first two quarters of the year.

Netflix finds itself in stiff competition with other streaming platforms, like Disney+, which is launching its own ad tier in December at $7.99 a month, and HBO Max, whose ad tier costs $9.99 a month.

Netflix laid off about 300 staffers in June as it looked to reduce costs amid stagnating growth. In its earnings announcement in July, Netflix said growing revenues was a "big challenge." It will announce its third-quarter earnings after the market closes Tuesday.

Shares were up by as much as 4% in Thursday trading.

Netflix also plans to roll out a paid family offering next year that will coincide with a crackdown on password-sharing. Netflix estimates that 100 million households worldwide are using shared passwords — 30 million of them in North America. The company said the unauthorized sharing makes it harder to grow membership and revenues.