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T-Mobile demotes free “Netflix on Us” perk to the ad-supported tier

Get ready to see ads on your T-Mobile Netflix plan.

netflix on macbook air
Image: KnowTechie

If you currently receive Netflix as part of your T-Mobile subscription, be prepared to watch content with ads.

Starting this week, the Magenta-heavy wireless provider will be shifting its wireless customers over to a Netflix plan that includes short advertisement interruptions before and during movies and TV shows.

The move comes several months after Netflix retired its cheapest commercial-free plan, called Basic, which offered standard definition streaming of shows and movies without advertisements for around $10 per month.

What version of Netflix will T-Mobile customers get now?

t-mobile logo on glass wall
Image: Unsplash

For several years, T-Mobile customers on eligible wireless plans were offered Netflix Basic for free, a great perk that helped wireless customers binge their way through popular shows like “Stranger Things,” “Ozark,” “Narcos” and “Squid Game.”

Some T-Mobile subscribers with multiple lines of service or on advanced plans were upgraded to Netflix Standard, which usually costs $15.50 per month and unlocks added perks like two simultaneous streams of high-definition content.

Customers who received Netflix Basic but wanted access to a higher tier of service like Neflix Standard were given the option to upgrade for a small fee — substantially less than what it would ordinarily cost to subscribe to the service on its own.

Earlier this month, documents leaked to The Mobile Report revealed T-Mobile would change how it offered free Netflix to customers: The company was eliminating all freebies involving the streaming service’s commercial-free plans, and would move all eligible subscribers over to Netflix with Ads.

T-Mobile has remained relatively quiet on the matter, but promotional materials and service terms reviewed by KnowTechie show the company has moved forward with the changes.

Starting this month, eligible T-Mobile wireless customers will be able to add Netflix with Ads as part of the company’s long-standing “Netflix on Us” perk when they agree to connect their Netflix account to T-Mobile.

While the perk was reserved in the past for customers of T-Mobile’s higher-priced unlimited tiers or for subscribers with more than one line of service, T-Mobile has eased up on these requirements for Netflix with Ads.

T-Mobile’s new strategy for “Netflix on Us”

Now, customers who have one or more qualifying line of service on the following plans can get Netflix with Ads for free (normally $7 per month):

  • Go5G Next
  • Go5G Plus
  • Magenta Max

Customers with all other Go5G or Magenta plans will need two or more qualifying lines of service in order to get Netflix with Ads for free.

While the Standard tier was previously offered to customers with higher-priced plans or multiple lines of service, that perk is now gone.

Instead, all customers who receive the ad-supported tier for free are offered the opportunity to upgrade their subscription at a discounted rate when they agree to pay for it through their T-Mobile plan:

  • Netflix Standard: $8.50 per month (normally $15.50 per month)
  • Netflix Premium: $16 per month (normally $23 per month)

Essentially, the $7 per month discount is applied as a credit for either Netflix Standard or Netflix Premium, but only when customers agree to have their Netflix subscription billed through their T-Mobile account. If a qualified line of service is removed, canceled, or suspended, the discount goes away.

What are the differences between the Netflix plans?

netflix starting a 6.99 per month
Image: Netflix

Netflix with Ads and Netflix Standard offer many of the same perks: Users can stream high-definition content (up to 1080p resolution) on two devices at once, and can download movies and TV shows on up to two devices.

The key difference between the two plans is probably obvious, given the names of each plan: Netflix with Ads includes commercial interruptions. Netflix Standard does not.

For some people, the offer to eliminate ads for $8.50 per month is an attractive one: When billed through T-Mobile, the plan is about $1.50 cheaper than the retail cost of Netflix with Ads (or, put another way, how much the ad-supported plan would cost without T-Mobile covering the bill).

For frugal customers, getting the streaming service for free with their T-Mobile service is worth the compromise of having to sit through a few ads before and during shows and movies.

Netflix Premium offers additional perks, including the ability to stream ultra-high definition (UHD/4K) content on four devices at once, and the ability to download TV shows and movies to six different devices.

The cost of the Premium tier is $16 per month when billed through T-Mobile, making it a better fit for families who have multiple streamers living within the same household.

What other streaming services does T-Mobile offer for free?

t-mobile pandora deal
Image: SlashGear

Netflix isn’t the only streaming service perk T-Mobile subscribers can get for free. T-Mobile also offers free access to a number of other streaming audio and video services, some of which are limited-time, expanded trials of premium offerings and others that renew on a regular basis, listed below.

Hulu with Ads

Starting Wednesday, January 24, T-Mobile will offer eligible subscribers free access to the ad-supported version of Hulu.

The Hulu with Ads perk was announced as being exclusive to subscribers of T-Mobile’s priciest plan, called Go5G Next.

However, some customers (including this reporter) on older plans like Magenta Max have received text messages over the past few weeks informing them that their plans are also eligible for free access to Hulu with Ads — so, we’ll have to wait until Wednesday to see how T-Mobile offers the promotion.

Apple TV Plus

T-Mobile offers eligible customers with one qualifying line on the Go5G Next plan or higher (or the equivalent older Magenta plan) free access to Apple TV Plus.

The perk is offered as a one-year extended trial, which customers can renew every year if they maintain a qualifying line.


T-Mobile has long been a sponsor of Major League Baseball, and for the past few years, it has offered customers on unlimited data plans free access to MLB.TV. The limited window to sign up for MLB.TV typically happens in the spring, around the start of baseball season.

In recent years, T-Mobile has offered MLB.TV through its T-Mobile Tuesdays app; this year, the freebie is expected to move to T Life, the new loyalty app T-Mobile is launching in the coming weeks. 

ViX Premium

Eligible customers can sign up for a one-year free trial of the Spanish-language streaming service. The service automatically renews after one year.

SiriusXM streaming radio

The same radio channels offered on SiriusXM satellite are also available through the SiriusXM streaming app, plus hundreds of online-only channels and personalized artist-specific stations powered by Pandora.

Eligible T-Mobile customers can get a six-month free trial of SiriusXM streaming radio, a savings of $60 per month; the trial renews after six month at $10 per month.

Pandora Premium

The streaming audio app includes the flagship Pandora radio experience powered by the Music Genome Project, as well as on-demand access to millions of songs and podcasts.

Eligible T-Mobile customers get four months of Pandora Premium for free, a savings of $40; the service renews after four months at $10 per month.

Have any thoughts on this? Drop us a line below in the comments, or carry the discussion to our Twitter or Facebook.

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Matthew Keys is an award-winning freelance journalist who covers the intersection of media, technology and journalism. He is the publisher of TheDesk.net and a contributor to KnowTechie, StreamTV Insider (formerly Fierce Video) and Digital Content Next. Matthew is based in Northern California.

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