Netflix’s Basic ad-free plan might not exist soon. While Basic is currently the cheapest way to sign up to Netflix without ads, the company recently removed the ad-free subscription tier in Canada, suggesting it might also do the same elsewhere.
In the US, Netflix currently offers four different plans to choose from: Standard with ads, Basic, Standard, and Premier. The Standard with ads plan was previously the Basic with ads plan and that name-change now appears to have been the first sign that the writing was on the wall for the Basic plan.
Following Netflix’s removal of support for the Basic plan in Canada, new users are now unable to sign up the Basic plan. According to The Canadian Press, Netflix also plans to remove Basic as an option for current members “in the near future.”
While there is currently no firm suggestion that Netflix is planning to do the same in the US and elsewhere, it seems likely that’s what will happen. While the price may differ, Netflix tends to offer the same plans in most countries, and the removal in one seems likely to be the first step in a removal elsewhere as well.
If Netflix does opt to fully remove the Basic plan from its lineup, this will leave consumers with three main plans to choose from: Standard with ads, Standard, and Premium.
In reality, this lineup would make more sense from a new user point of view, as it already seems strange to have a Basic plan that’s more expensive than a Standard plan.
Speaking of the price, and with Standard with ads currently priced at $6.99 per month and Standard priced at $15.49, this change would mean that there is quite a considerable jump between the cost of ad-supported and ad-free Netflix.
While it is unclear whether a change like this would result in an ad-supported price increase later this year, it’s not something we would rule out in the absence of a Basic plan that currently fills that price gap.