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The most affordable ad-free plan of Netflix might soon be gone forever.

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Netflix
Netflix

There’s a possibility that Netflix could eliminate its most affordable ad-free plan, the streaming service has already ended the basic tier in Canada.

Netflix has quietly bid farewell to its Basic subscription tier in Canada, making it no longer an option for new customers seeking the most affordable package devoid of advertisements.

The alteration exclusively affects individuals who are “new or rejoining members,” compelling them to make a decision among various pricing options outlined by Netflix’s Help website. These choices consist of a $5.99 CAD plan with ads called Standard, a $16.49 CAD Standard plan without ads, or a Premium plan priced at $20.99. Existing subscribers currently enrolled in the Basic plan can retain their membership until they opt for a plan modification or decide to terminate their account.

It appears that Netflix discontinued the Basic tier some time ago, though it took a while for the news to garner substantial attention worldwide. There was reportedly a complaint made by a Twitter user on June 10, expressing dissatisfaction with the termination of the Basic plan.

The plan is still available for others:

Currently, several countries worldwide have not experienced any alterations, at least not yet. Notably, the American Netflix Plans and Pricing page maintains the Basic plan’s price at $9.99, ensuring the continued safety of subscribers in other regions. Nevertheless, Canada has been selected as a preliminary testing ground by Netflix. As an early adopter, the nation was among the first to receive the ad-supported plan in early November 2022, serving as a precursor for its subsequent global launch. Moreover, the enforcement of Netflix’s password crackdown commenced earlier in Canada than in the United States and the United Kingdom.

The decision to implement the change in pricing structure comes as no unexpected move from Netflix, given its prior efforts to nudge subscribers away from the Basic tier. The motivation behind this strategic shift becomes clearer upon examining the revenue dynamics at play. During an earnings call, Netflix openly acknowledged that it generates higher revenue per user from the ads-based Basic tier compared to the ad-free alternative. Consequently, the platform has consequently enhanced the features available within the ads-based tier to further bolster its revenue streams.

What are the chances that the basic plan will end in other regions also?

While there is currently no indication that Netflix will discontinue the Basic plan in other regions, it is not entirely implausible. Reed Hastings, one of the co-founders of the streaming service, stated in 2020 that the company would never introduce advertising to its users. Moreover, Netflix famously tweeted in 2017, “Love is sharing a password” (which remains on their Twitter feed). However, these statements have proven to be less than reliable, as the company has now introduced an ad-supported plan and implemented a crackdown on password sharing, much to the chagrin of many users. Netflix has a track record of changing its stance over the years.

Will Netflix’s clever approach achieve its motive?

The pertinent question now arises: will this new approach be successful? Will Canadian users transition to a different tier? The answer is likely yes. Despite the controversy surrounding the password-sharing crackdown, it has actually proven effective in attracting new subscriptions. In fact, Netflix recently experienced the “largest days of subscriber growth in the US in four-and-a-half years” following the implementation of this new policy.

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