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Netflix’s cheapest ad-free plan to be discontinued at $11.99/month

Netflix has a gift, but are you ready to unwrap it? Instead of giving, it’s the kind of gift that takes from you – Netflix will soon put an end to the cheapest ad-free plan (the one that costs $11.99/month).

Back in October 2023, Netflix did another no-no – the then price hike crossed the psychological $20 barrier for the Premium plan and went from $19.99/month to $22.99/month.

Also in October 2023, the price hike applied to the Basic plan – it went from $9.99/month to $11.99/month. Back then, the Basic plan wasn’t available to new subscribers anymore. It was only existing Netflix users that could switch to it.

What were the plans like until now?

  • Standard with ads – $6.99/month
  • Basic (available to existing subscribers only) – $11.99/month
  • Standard – $15.49/month
  • Premium (it offers 4K content) – $22.99/month

What are the plans going to look like soon?

  • Standard with ads – $6.99/month
  • Standard – $15.49/month
  • Premium (it offers 4K content) – $22.99/month

The move is a result of Netflix’s shift into ad-supported streaming after relying on subscription revenue alone for years. Netflix wants subscribers to its basic ad-free plan to instead become ad-viewing subscribers or pay more for the streaming service.

There’s a letter to Netflix shareholders, here’s an excerpt from it:

Scaling our ads business represents an opportunity to tap into significant new revenue and profit pools over the medium to longer term. 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. On the advertiser side, we continue to improve the targeting and measurement we offer our customers.

So, for now, the US users are “safe” – the first to see their Basic plan go will be those from the UK and Canada.

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