Deep Dives

Netflix discontinues basic ad-free tier in the U.S. and U.K.

July 19, 2023
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Netflix has discontinued its basic subscription plan in the U.S. and the U.K., following its removal in Canada. The basic plan offered single-screen viewing at 720p resolution. While current users can maintain their plan, new subscribers won't have access to it. Netflix's decision coincides with the introduction of an ad-supported standard plan in several countries.

Removal of Basic Plan: Netflix's basic subscription plan is no longer available for new or returning customers in the U.S. and the U.K.
  • This plan, which allowed users to watch Netflix on one screen in 720p quality, was priced at $9.99 per month in the U.S. and £6.99 per month in the U.K.
  • Existing subscribers to the basic plan can continue with it until they choose to change plans or cancel their account.

  • Introduction of Ad-Supported Plan: Netflix has launched an ad-supported standard plan in several countries, starting with Canada and Mexico.
  • This ad-supported plan was later introduced in the U.S., the U.K., and several other countries including France, Germany, Italy, Australia, Japan, Korea, and Brazil.
  • In April, the "Standard with ads" plan was upgraded to allow simultaneous streaming on two devices and provide full HD resolution.

  • Subscription Costs: The ad-supported plan is cheaper than the old basic plan, but it includes commercials.
  • The ad-supported plan costs $6.99 per month in the U.S. and £4.99 per month in the U.K.
  • For ad-free streaming, users will need to pay $15.99 or £10.99 per month.

  • Impact on Netflix's Finances: Netflix's shift towards an ad-supported plan has potential financial implications.
  • The company reported in May that its ad-supported tier already has over 5 million users worldwide.
  • An analysis indicated that from March to June, Netflix's ad-supported plans accounted for 17-20% of new signups.
  • Analysts predict that Netflix could earn over $1.9 billion in ad revenues next year as a result of this strategy.
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