In yet another significant change to its strategy, Netflix, the global streaming behemoth, is set to abandon its cheapest ad-free Basic plan for UK subscribers, according to the company’s latest financials.
The Basic plan, which cost a paltry £6.99 per month, is slated to be phased out within the second quarter of this year – between April and June.
While the timeline for the switch-off remains uncertain, the move necessitates users who wish to remain with the streaming service to either opt for a £10.99 per month plan, the cheapest yet devoid of ads, or settle for the advert-included Standard plan at £4.99 per month. The £10.99 plan might get new perks, allowing members to add extra profiles for another £4.99 per month.
But there are stark contrasts. The Standard with adverts scheme doesn’t grant full access to Netflix’s platform, rebuking its users with only ‘all but a few movies and TV shows available.’ However, Full HD quality is assured for the content accessible. Netflix’s ultra-luxury option is the Premium plan, coming at £17.99 per month.
Netflix first discontinued the Basic plan for new and returning customers amid a stringent clampdown on password-sharing last year. This decision was in line with the firm’s aggressive growth, which culminated in it recruiting an additional 13.1 million subscribers by 2023-end.
Netflix then registered a monthly active user base of 23 million and a cumulative subscriber count of 260 million.In its Q4 report, Netflix also signaled that Canada would be amongst the regions to lose access to the Basic tier.
The report cited, “Our ads membership increased by nearly 70% quarter over quarter, backed by enhancements in our offerings (for instance, downloads) and the gradual discontinuation of our Basic plan for new and rejoining members in our ads markets.”Netflix’s ad-inclusive plan accounted for a significant 40% of all sign-ups in the panorama where it was introduced, the report further divulged.