In a major shake-up to its pricing model, Netflix has silently killed the ad-free Basic plan in the US and UK for new and returning subscribers, following a similar move that took place in Canada a few weeks ago.
If you head on over to the Netflix sign up page now, the Basic plan is absent from the subscription choices – this was first spotted by Cord Busters. Netflix has confirmed that existing Basic subscribers will not be forced to pay more – they can stay on this plan until they change or cancel their accounts.
The Basic plan was the cheapest ad-free subscription from the streaming giant, priced at $9.99/£6.99 per month. It offered no simultaneous streams, but you could get HD streaming and downloads to one smartphone or tablet.
Now, the most affordable plan you can get is Standard with Ads (originally called Basic with Ads), which costs $6.99/£4.99 per month. However, with that you’ll have to put up with a couple of pre-roll ads, and then either one or two mid-roll ad breaks. It also has a more limited library, with many popular third-party series missing.
If you can’t bear the thought of ads, then the next plan up is Standard, priced at $15.49/£10.99 per month. This offers 1080p streaming, and two simultaneous streams. The most expensive plan, Netflix Premium, grants you 4K streaming and four simultaneous streams in exchange for $19.99/£15.99 per month.
This move follows Netflix cracking down on password sharing, forcing people who previously used a friend’s or family member’s account to either sign up for a standalone account, or be added as an extra member.
Netflix has not yet publicly commented on removing the Basic tier, but it is due to reveal Q2 earnings today according to Variety – so we may learn more on the decision in the coming hours.