After removing the Basic subscription tier in Canada a few weeks ago, Netflix has done the same thing with its cheapest ad-free plan in the US and UK. This is Netflix’s latest controversial move in its quest to stop password-sharing and maximize revenue from its subscribers.
The password-sharing ban is working so far, with more people subscribing to Netflix recently. As I explained, the $9.99 Basic plan might have been a better option instead of paying just $2 less to add them as an extra user on an existing account.
Netflix now lets you share your password outside your home as long as you pay $7.99 extra per month, per user. You can add one extra if you’re on the Standard ($15.49) plan, or two if you pay for the Premium ($19.99) plan.
As first reported by CordBusters, the Basic tier is no longer an option for new customers in the US or UK as of Wednesday, July 19th.
Now that it has quietly removed the Basic plan in the US and UK, Netflix has three standalone plans that customers can subscribe to:
- $6.99 (£4.99) Standard with ads
- $15.49 (£10.99) Standard
- $19.99 (£15.99) Premium
Since Netflix made this change in several major markets, it seems likely that new customers in all markets will eventually lose access to the Basic plan.
However, if you’re already subscribed to Basic, you won’t have to upgrade or downgrade your plan… yet. You can keep your Basic subscription as long as you keep paying. Conversely, if you were looking to upgrade from the ad tier to Basic, or downgrade from the others, now’s the time to go for it if you can still find it.
The advantage of Basic over Standard with ads is that you can download content on one device and access Netflix’s entire catalog. But streaming quality is limited to 720p, and you can only play content on one device at a time. Also, there are no annoying ads to deal with on the Basic plan, of course.
Netflix will report earnings for the June quarter on Wednesday after the close. The company should also provide more details about its revised subscription structure.