Netflix quietly drops basic plan in Canada: other markets to follow?

Netflix has killed its basic plan in Canada for new subscribers, leaving a big gap between the cheaper ad-based tier and the standard plan. Subscribers in other markets, beware.

The move naturally simplifies the offering for the would-be subscribers. But it’s also a probable sign of things to come – will Netflix eventually remove the basic plan as an option?

The basic plan cost $9.99 CAD ($7.60) per month. Now, of course, new subscribers – if they don’t want to overspend – can choose the recently introduced ad-supported plan for $5.99 CAD ($4.57).

But the next option going up is pretty expensive. Yes, the standard allows you to get rid of ads and enable downloads, but you’ll have to shell out $16.99 CAD ($13) per month.

Users in Canada who are currently paying for the basic plan will be able to continue with this tier until they cancel the account.

Basic plan is already unavailable to new Netflix subscribers in Canada. Courtesy of Netflix.

“The Basic plan is no longer available for new or rejoining members. If you are currently on the Basic plan, you can remain on this plan until you change plans or cancel your account,” Netflix said in a note.

Netflix obviously wants to squeeze more money out from newly joining members. Sure, the ad-supported plan is quite cheap and thus attractive, but ads can be annoying. The streaming giant might be hoping that new subscribers choose the more expensive option.

It’s unclear whether Netflix plans similar decisions in other markets. But the crackdown on password sharing was also started in only a few countries in Latin America and was then expanded globally.

Besides, Canada was one of the first markets to get ad-supported plans in 2022, followed by launches in other countries like the United States, Japan, and Australia. Finally, in the US, Netflix already hides the basic plan from the options list when you’re creating a new account. It is still available, though.

Netflix revealed in May that the platform’s ad-supported tier had attracted almost 5 million global monthly active users, six months after it first launched. Viewer engagement on ad-based plans also mirrors levels seen across ad-free accounts.

The password-sharing crackdown seems to be working, too. In June, the research firm Antenna said that Netflix gained more new subscribers in the four days immediately following the start of the crackdown in the US.

The new policy bans subscribers from sharing their password with someone outside their homes, and on May 23rd, users started receiving emails informing them that extra fees would have to be paid in order to continue sharing the account.

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