Netflix is cutting its cheapest ad-free plan for some users

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What you need to know

  • Starting July 13, Netflix's $11.99 ad-free plan will be discontinued for customers, and they must choose between a $6.99 plan that features ads versus a more expensive ad-free plan.
  • This change is currently impacting users in the UK and Canada and will be expanded to other countries in Q2. 
  • Despite rising subscription costs, Netflix's memberships rose by 16% in the first quarter, reaching 269.6 million.

It looks like Netflix is dropping its least expensive ad-free plan and pushing users to pay more than usual to access the platform without ads.

According to several Reddit posts, Netflix's $11.99 ad-free plan will be discontinued for customers on July 13. They must choose between a $6.99 plan that streams ads versus a $15.49 ad-free plan or the $22.99 ad-free 4K (via Android Police).

The user's streaming is interrupted by a page that states their "basic plan has been discontinued" and that "you can change your plan at any time."

Can't finish Netflix subscription from r/mildlyinfuriating

Based on the Reddit complaints, it seems the streaming giant may first be testing out the updated offerings in the UK or Canada before expanding to other regions (including the U.S.).

One user on Reddit stated that Netflix wasn't allowing them to watch shows on their current ad-free plan without subscribing to the new one. "There's no option to continue watching without selecting a new plan," they said.

Some people feel that Netflix is simply not addressing the concerns of middle-class viewers. 

"You're now either a poverty-class ad-supported viewer at $6 or a wealthy-class member at $16.50." While others have openly stated that they've discontinued their subscriptions because they can't keep up with the rising costs. 

This move doesn't come out of the blue, though.  Earlier this year, during its Q4 earnings call, Netflix publicly announced that it had begun an effort to push customers to either more expensive or ad-supported plans. 

"Scaling our ads business represents an opportunity to tap into significant new revenue and profit pools over the medium to longer term," Netflix said in a statement

"On the advertiser side, we continue to improve the targeting and measurement we offer our customers."

While we can speculate why Netflix is trying to raise its prices, it appears that Netflix users are being pushed to pay extra for their ongoing projects, like live programming and on-platform gaming. However, not all of those subscribers will be using those added services on the platform and will end up paying for them.

It is important to note that, despite people unsubscribing to the service, according to CNBC, Netflix's memberships rose by 16% in the first quarter of 2024, reaching 269.6 million, and its net income was around $2.33 billion.

Nandika Ravi
News Editor

Nandika Ravi is an Editor for Android Central. Based in Toronto, after rocking the news scene as a Multimedia Reporter and Editor at Rogers Sports and Media, she now brings her expertise into the Tech ecosystem. When not breaking tech news, you can catch her sipping coffee at cozy cafes, exploring new trails with her boxer dog, or leveling up in the gaming universe.