Netflix has quietly made a significant change to its subscription plans in Canada. It’s phasing out the Basic plan in not-so-baby steps. This could set a precedent for similar actions in other regions.
This move mirrors the recent crackdown on password-sharing, with Canada once again possibly serving as a testing ground before Netflix decides to roll out the changes globally.
Existing subscribers on the Basic plan can continue with their current arrangement as long as they refrain from cancelling or switching plans. However, new or returning members can no longer access the Basic tier.
According to The Canadian Press, a company representative said the Basic plan will be removed as an option for current members “in the near future.”
Priced at CA$9.99 per month, this plan offered the most affordable ad-free streaming option but limited users to one device at a time and 720p HD quality.
In place of the Basic tier, Netflix is introducing a new ad-supported plan for CA$5.99 per month. This plan allows streaming on two devices simultaneously and offers Full HD quality. However, users seeking an uninterrupted viewing experience will have to opt for the standard or premium tiers, priced at CA$16.49 and CA$20.99, respectively.
While the company assures existing Basic tier members that the change will not affect them, concerns have been raised that Netflix may eventually remove the cheapest ad-free plan even for existing subscribers.
Netflix’s decision to eliminate the Basic tier is a strategic move to address financial losses. In 2022, the company experienced its first decline in subscribers in over a decade and began exploring alternative revenue streams. During its April earnings report, Netflix disclosed that the ads tier generated higher average revenue per membership in the United States compared to the more expensive Standard plan.
As Netflix continues to evolve its subscription offerings, users in other countries are closely watching to see if this latest change extends beyond Canada, potentially altering the streaming landscape worldwide to resemble the pre-cable and cable TV era.