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Netflix’s ad-supported tier reportedly removes downloads

Downloads will be available exclusively on ad-free subscription tiers.

Netflix on macbook air
Image: KnowTechie

Netflix is gearing up to release its cheaper, ad-supported tier, but ads aren’t the only thing that will be different. You won’t be able to download any content for offline viewing with Netflix’s ad-supported subscription.

According to a recent report from Bloomberg, Netflix plans to scrap its downloads feature for users on the ad-supported tier. The publication learned of these plans thanks to a discovery from developer Steve Moser.

If you have a regular, ad-free Netflix subscription, one of the benefits you get is the ability to download content. So you can download episodes of your favorite shows your movies to watch when you’re offline.

READ MORE: Here’s how much Netflix’s ad-supported tier will cost

Netflix app showing download prompt
Image: KnowTechie

But it looks like that won’t be available to those subscribed to the ad-supported tier. ““Downloads available on all plans except Netflix with ads,” reads a line of text from within the Netflix app discovered by Moser.

This isn’t really a surprise, considering the nature of ads in videos. You likely won’t be able to skip any of these ads, and you won’t be able to pause or fast-forward through them.

Netflix wants to make sure you see as many of its ads as possible to help keep advertisers happy.

Netflix is planning on launching its ad-supported tier early next year. The company hopes that its new, cheaper subscription option will help bring back some of the customers it has been losing drastically in the last few months.

Of course, this is all subject to change. The new tier isn’t out yet, and nothing is final until Netflix officially launches it. But don’t be surprised if you lose the ability to download Netflix content if you switch to the ad-supported tier.

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Staff writer at KnowTechie. Alex has two years of experience covering all things technology, from video games to electric cars. He's a gamer at heart, with a passion for first-person shooters and expansive RPGs. Shoot him an email at

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