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Netflix begins phasing out its Basic plan in some countries

Streamers in the United Kingdom and Canada are being told to switch to another plan.

Streamers in the United Kingdom and Canada are being told to switch to another plan.

A smart television set running the Netflix application.
(Stock image via Pixabay, Graphic by The Desk)

Netflix has started phasing out its cheapest, ad-free plan in some countries where the plan was retired last year.

Streamers in the United Kingdom and Canada were grandfathered in to the plan, called Basic, after Netflix retired the tier in favor of Netflix with Ads, its new lost-cost tier of service that includes commercial interruptions during films and shows.

Users in Canada were notified about the change through on-screen messaging that informed them the Basic plan was going away in mid-July. The message offered subscribers the option to purchase Netflix with Ads for CA $6 per month (around U.S. $4.40 per month) or purchase a commercial-free plan for more money.

In the United Kingdom, Netflix customers were offered the same information, with the option to switch to Netflix with Ads for around £5 per month (about $6.50 per month) or pay more money for a commercial-free plan.

The decision is consistent with comments made by executives in January, in which they affirmed that Netflix would phase out Basic in Canada and the U.K. by the spring.

Netflix offers two commercial-free tiers of service: Netflix Standard, which offers high-definition streaming, and Netflix Premium, which unlocks four simultaneous streams, Dolby Atmos, spatial audio and ultra high-definition (UHD/4K) video.

Less clear is whether Netflix will adopt the same strategy of phasing out Netflix Basic in other countries where users are currently grandfathered in, including the United States. The company is known to test new business strategies overseas before broadening out those plans in other markets.

Two years ago, Netflix trialed a password-sharing crackdown in some Latin American countries, a move that initially led to higher churn. The practice was brought to the U.S. and other countries last year as Netflix sought to boot freeloaders from its service in pursuit of higher revenue.

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About the Author:

Matthew Keys

Matthew Keys is a nationally-recognized, award-winning journalist who has covered the business of media, technology, radio and television for more than 11 years. He is the publisher of The Desk and contributes to Know Techie, Digital Content Next and StreamTV Insider. He previously worked for Thomson Reuters, the Walt Disney Company, McNaughton Newspapers and Tribune Broadcasting.
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