What you need to know
- New Netflix subscribers in Canada no longer have the option to choose the Basic tier.
- Existing subscribers, on the other hand, can keep their current plan unless they cancel or switch to a different tier.
- Users in the country can only select between the standard tier with ads, the ad-free standard plan, or the premium tier.
- Netflix also apparently plans to implement this new pricing model for existing Basic members in the future.
Netflix has quietly ditched the Basic tier in Canada, and existing subscribers on the Basic tier can remain on their plan as long as they don't cancel their account or switch to another plan.
The streaming platform quietly mentioned in a support page that the "Basic plan is no longer available for new or rejoining members." Costing $10 per month, the Basic tier was the cheapest Netflix plan without ads, but it only allowed for streaming on one device at a time and in HD (720p) quality.
Netflix is phasing out the Basic tier in favor of its new ad-supported plan, which costs CA$5.99 per month and allows for streaming on two devices at a time in Full HD quality. But if you don't want to be interrupted by ads, you can upgrade to the pricier standard or premium tier, priced at CA$16.49 and CA$20.99, respectively.
While the company states that the change will not affect existing members on the Basic tier, The Canadian Press reports that Netflix plans to remove its cheapest ad-free plan for existing subscribers "in the near future."
And as if the ongoing password-sharing crackdown isn't annoying enough for users in many parts of the world, the latest move may spark concerns that Netflix's latest cancellation will spread to other markets, including the U.S., with Canada serving only as a test bed yet again, as it did for the password-sharing restrictions, which have since gone global.
Killing the Basic tier is presumably part of Netflix's efforts to combat financial losses. Last year, the company revealed that it had lost subscribers for the first time in over a decade and was looking for new revenue streams. During its April earnings report, Netflix disclosed that it saw a higher "average revenue per membership" in the United States through the ads tier than via the more expensive Standard plan.
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Jay Bonggolto always keeps a nose for news. He has been writing about consumer tech and apps for as long as he can remember, and he has used a variety of Android phones since falling in love with Jelly Bean. Send him a direct message via Twitter or LinkedIn.