Netflix appears to have started the process of axing the ad-free Basic plan.
Canadian website BlogTo has noted that the classic Basic plan is no longer available to sign up to in the country. It means that anyone wishing to take up the cheapest Netflix plan possible will be forced to adopt the ad-supported ‘Standard with ads’ tier at $5.99 CAD per month.
This opens out a huge gap to the next tier up, which is Standard. Anyone in Canada who hates ads with their streaming experience will need to shell out $16.99 CAD for the Standard tier.
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Existing Basic plan subscribers will be able to retain their package for now. Over on the official Netflix Canada support page, the company explains that “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”.
So why should non-Canadians be interested in this move? Netflix is a major international technology and media company, so when it tries a new approach in one territory, you can bet your bottom Canadian dollar that it’s dipping its toe in the water with the intention of jumping in at some point in the future.
In other words, what happens to Netflix Canada today will more than likely happen to Netflix UK, Netflix US, and Netflix everywhere else in future.
As TechCrunch points out, Netflix already attempts to hide the availability of the Basic plan when you attempt to sign up for a new account in the country. Netflix clearly doesn’t want people signing up for it, and axing the Basic tier for everyone seems inevitable.