By Phillip Swann
The TV Answer Man – @tvanswerman
Netflix has eliminated the $9.99 a month ads-free Basic plan in the United States for new subscribers. If you have Basic, you can keep it, but you can no longer subscribe to it if you don’t.
“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,” the company says at its web site.
The move leaves Netflix with three plans in the United States: There’s an ads-included plan for $6.99 a month; a Standard plan with 1080p HD for $15.49 a month; and a Premium package with video up to 4K for $19.99 a month.
Like other streamers, Netflix is experimenting with pricing and packages to find a formula that will maximize profits while minimizing customer disruption. The elimination of the Basic plan could encourage more people to get the $6.99 ads-included plan. While the fee is lower, Netflix could generate more revenue through advertising. Or perhaps more consumers opt for the $15.99 a month plan. Either way, it’s more money for Netflix.
The streaming service in May also implemented a crackdown on password sharing to generate more revenue. Netflix is scheduled to reveal its second quarter earnings report later today with results on how the new password policy has affected subscription growth.
Today’s elimination of the Basic plan was expected after Netflix removed it last month in Canada.
Have a question about new TV technologies? Send it to The TV Answer Man at firstname.lastname@example.org Please include your first name and hometown in your message.
— Phillip Swann