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Netflix might kill its cheapest Basic plan, and I don’t know why it exists to begin with

Published Jun 26th, 2023 10:59AM EDT
Netflix logo.
Image: Netflix

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Netflix is testing another way to lose subscribers. After the controversial password-sharing announcement, the company now wants to get rid of its cheapest Basic plan. As reported by Gizmodo, Canadian users of the streaming service no longer have access to its cheapest subscription tier that doesn’t include ads.

Netflix’s help page states, “The Basic plan is no longer available for new or rejoining members. If you are currently on the Basic plan, you can remain on this plan until you change plans or cancel your account.”

Although it could make many users angry, I really hope Netflix goes through with this decision for more markets, but not because I want the company to profit with a more expensive tier. The streaming service should revamp all of its subscription plans. It’s 2023, and it wants to charge $14.99/ 16.49 CAD for Full HD streaming, two devices simultaneously, and the option to add one extra member who doesn’t live with you. I mean, seriously?

No other streaming charges extra for 4K, and Netflix thinks it still can do that. Interestingly, this is similar to what Spotify plans to do with a HiFi quality. The streaming reportedly plans to charge more to offer Lossless to users, while Apple Music and Amazon Music include this benefit with the standard subscription.

In April, Bloomberg reported that Netflix lost over 1 million users in Spain in the first three months of 2023, according to market research group Kantar, due to the crackdown on password-sharing.

As a Netflix subscriber for the past ten years, I have already downgraded my account from Premium to Standard because I didn’t see value in paying more just to have 4K streaming. If this change comes to Brazil, I’ll indeed be joining many other customers that prefer to pay for other competitors rather than Netflix, as it feels the company is just being cheap in its offerings.

To improve numbers, Netflix should revamp the subscription tiers by offering 4K quality to all users and keep Full HD for those that prefer to pay the bare minimum with ads. Now, removing plans just to force users to spend more will just backfire.

We’ll see exactly that if this test in Canada starts expanding worldwide.

José Adorno Tech News Reporter

José is a Tech News Reporter at BGR. He has previously covered Apple and iPhone news for 9to5Mac, and was a producer and web editor for Latin America broadcaster TV Globo. He is based out of Brazil.