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Netflix is testing a mobile-only plan for just $3.62

Published Mar 22nd, 2019 8:02AM EDT
Netflix April 2019 Releases List
Image: Olly Curtis / Future Publishing/Shutterstock

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In January of this year, Netflix announced the biggest price increase in the history of its streaming service. The company’s most popular plan jumped from $10.99 to $12.99, while the basic plan increased from $7.99 to $8.99 and the premium plan ballooned from $13.99 to $15.99. All of those increases stung, but the main plan was the worst — a $2 price hike from $11 to $13 per month is a whopping 18% increase, the largest by far since Netflix first launched its streaming entertainment service back in 2007.

Of course, most Netflix subscribers are happy to pay the newly increased prices. Well, perhaps “happy” isn’t the proper word, but you won’t see a mass exodus from Netflix anytime soon. The company spends billions of dollars each year to license some of the best third-party content around. It also invests billions more into creating some of the most critically acclaimed original TV series and movies in the world right now. Just look at the 44 new original shows, movies, and specials set to debut on Netflix in April 2019 alone. People will indeed gladly pay between $9 and $16 to access all that streaming entertainment… but what if you could stream it all for just $3.62 per month?

Netflix tries new things all the time, and makes them available only to select subscribers. In fact, Netflix is toying with the idea of giving its service a major redesign and just yesterday we detailed how Netflix constantly tests user interface changes and pushes them out to a small selection of accounts to see how people respond. Some things Netflix tests are great, while other changes are aggravating and are almost immediately tossed aside. The Netflix test we’re covering today definitely falls into the former category.

One of the best things about Netflix is that it’s available practically everywhere. Whether you’re on a smart TV, a streaming dongle connected to a dumb TV, a computer, a tablet, or a smartphone, you can always access any and all of Netflix’s massive catalog of streaming movies, TV shows, and specials. But what if that’s not the case anymore? Some people only stream Netflix content to their mobile devices, so should they have to pay the same monthly access fee as everyone else?

As reported by Economic Times, Netflix is currently running a very intriguing test of a new mobile-only subscription plan. The new plan, which is currently only being tested in India, gives users access to Netflix’s entire catalog for just 250 rupees per month. That works out to about $3.62 at Friday’s exchange rate. There are some caveats, needless to say: subscribers who opt for this plan can only stream in standard definition, they can only stream to mobile devices, and they can only stream to one device at a time. That means password sharing is pretty much out of the question.

This plan is perfect for people who only watch on their smartphones or tablets, and it could go a long way to boost Netflix’s growth in the Indian region. Does that mean this plan will be available indefinitely or that it’ll expand to other markets? Sadly no. In fact, Netflix is testing plans in other regions that are even more expensive than the prices that were just increased. If Netflix sees a big boost from its new mobile-only plan though, there’s always a chance that it could be made available in other regions.

Zach Epstein
Zach Epstein Executive Editor

Zach Epstein has been the Executive Editor at BGR for more than 10 years. He manages BGR’s editorial team and ensures that best practices are adhered to. He also oversees the Ecommerce team and directs the daily flow of all content. Zach first joined BGR in 2007 as a Staff Writer covering business, technology, and entertainment.

His work has been quoted by countless top news organizations, and he was recently named one of the world's top 10 “power mobile influencers” by Forbes. Prior to BGR, Zach worked as an executive in marketing and business development with two private telcos.