Netflix is Phasing Out its Cheapest Ad-Free Plan

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Netflix is Phasing Out its Cheapest Ad-Free Plan

By Movieguide® Contributor

Netflix is in the process of phasing out its cheapest ad-free plan.

Current subscribers will soon be given the option to select a new plan in order to keep their accounts.

Some users have already reported receiving the notification. “Subscribers paying $11.99 / month for the basic plan will have to choose either the $6.99 ad-supported tier, the $15.49 ad-free tier, or the $22.99 ad-free 4K premium plan,” The Verge reported.

The change will first arrive in Canada and the UK before coming to the U.S.

“Netflix had already announced that it would cut the Basic plan earlier this year,” the Independent reported. “It specifically pointed to those countries that have the ad-supported tier. During the results call in which it made that announcement, it said it would remove the plan ‘starting with Canada and the UK in Q2 and taking it from there.’”

Netflix had announced earlier this year its plan to remove the Basic option. The company stated, “In Q4’23, like the quarter before, our ads membership increased by nearly 70% quarter over quarter, supported by improvements in our offering (e.g., downloads) and the phasing out of our Basic plan for new and rejoining members in our ads markets. The ads plan now accounts for 40% of all Netflix sign-ups in our ads markets and we’re looking to retire our Basic plan in some of our ads countries, starting with Canada and the UK in Q2 and taking it from there.”

This isn’t the first time the streamer has made a change like this. Last summer, Netflix removed its $9.99 ad-free plan. Movieguide® previously reported, “Netflix announced that it would no longer offer its $9.99 ad-free plan, leaving users to choose between cheaper, ad-filled options, or a more expensive ad-free plan…Netflix launched their ad-supported plan last year in an effort to boost revenue and, according to the platform, a quarter of new subscribers opt for the ad-supported plan.”

At the company’s 2023 final quarter review, co-CEO Greg Peters said that the streamer “is now at 23 million monthly active users and that Netflix’s priority for it is ‘scale.’”

The company also said that it gained 13.1 million new subscribers and sits at a global number of 247 million subscribers.

Movieguide® previously reported on Netflix:

Netflix and Amazon have beat out studio-backed streamers when it comes to commissioning original content. 

“Netflix commissioned its highest number of new titles since the third quarter of 2021,” Variety reported, citing a study from Ampere Analysis. “Amazon set a new record for quarterly commissions.”

The outlet added, “The two streaming giants accounted for more than half (53%) of worldwide streamers’ commissions from January-March 2024.”

Netflix and Amazon have faced challenges from studio streamers (Paramount+ and Disney+, among others), but last year’s strikes caused Hollywood studios to cut back on commissioning new content to save money. 

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