Netflix’s ad-free options are being scrapped
(Credits: Best of Netflix / Netflix)

Netflix News

Netflix's ad-free options are being scrapped

Netflix is changing its subscriptions once again. To keep watching shows on the streaming platform, users currently on the cheapest ad-free option will have to pay more as Netflix phases out its most affordable option.

Everything changed with Netflix last year when they decided to crack down on password sharing. While it used to be typical for a family to share an account, keeping the same one even when the children flew the nest to university or beyond, the platform wanted to stop that happening. To stop big groups of friends or extended family all using the same account without paying more, in May 2023, they made it so a single account could only work within a single household. 

However, as fans were obviously disgruntled, they gave a peace offering in the form of a £4.99 subscription with ads. The rate for a standard ad-free account was set at £7.99. But by May of 2024, that was upped to £10.99 for ad-free viewing.

It seems that is changing once again as Netflix viewers received notifications warning about further pricing changes. This time, they appear to be totally phasing out their cheapest ad-free tier, forcing fans to either pay more for uninterrupted viewing or allow ads to keep their costs down.

“Your last day to watch Netflix is July 13th. Choose a new plan to keep watching,” the notification read, as shared by a Reddit user. It prompted that subscribers paying for the £10.99 ad-free basic plan will have to level up to a higher-cost plan. In America, subscribers will have to choose either the $6.99 ad-supported tier, the $15.49 ad-free tier, or the $22.99 ad-free 4K premium plan. As this change also appears to be rolling out in the UK and Canada, it seems that users across the world will have to up their costs or accept ads.

Phasing out their basic plan has been in the pipeline for a while. At first, the plan was simply not available for new customers, but this step seems to be the final phase of axing the cheapest option, forcing existing customers to switch to new plans. 

They made a statement abount the decision in January as they said, “In Q4‘23, like the quarter before, our ads membership increased by nearly 70% quarter over quarter, supported by improvements in our offering (e.g., downloads) and the phasing out of our Basic plan for new and rejoining members in our ads markets.”

As the popularity of their cheapest plan grew, with more users opting to watch with ads to save money, they decided to get rid of the basic plan and force people to pick to either watch ads or pay more. “The ads plan now accounts for 40% of all Netflix sign-ups in our ads markets, and we’re looking to retire our Basic plan in some of our ads countries, starting with Canada and the UK in Q2 and taking it from there,” Netflix added.

As of May 2024, the platform’s ad-supported plan has grown to over  40 million users. Now by far the cheapest option for keeping a Netflix subscription, this will no doubt grow even more with this further pricing change.

Can’t finish Netflix subscription
byu/BritestBowlingBall inmildlyinfuriating