Netflix Basic Plan Discontinued: What You Need to Know

Netflix Basic Plan Discontinued: What You Need to Know

By CE Critic - Buy Better Tech

Table of Contents

  • The Phase-Out of Netflix's Basic Plan
  • Netflix's Reasoning Behind the Change
  • Implications of the Basic Plan Retirement
  • New Opportunities: Sports Streaming
  • Technical Considerations

The Phase-Out of Netflix's Basic Plan

Netflix is officially phasing out its ad-free Basic subscription plan, beginning with Canada and the UK in Q2 2024. This leaves subscribers with the following primary options:

  • $15.49/month for Netflix's ad-free Standard plan
  • $6.99/month for its ad-supported Basic plan
  • $22.99/month for the Premium plan

The move comes after Netflix previously discontinued new sign-ups for the Basic plan in several markets, including the US, UK, and Canada.

Netflix's Reasoning Behind the Change

In its Q4 2023 earnings report, Netflix executives highlighted two key factors driving this decision:

  1. Growth of Ad-Supported Tiers: The company notes that its ad-supported plans now account for 40% of sign-ups in relevant markets, with a quarter-over-quarter growth of nearly 70%.
  2. Focus on Scale: Co-CEO Greg Peters emphasized that Netflix's priority for the ad-supported offering is to achieve greater scale. This likely means attracting a larger subscriber base to the ad-supported plans.

Retiring the Basic plan simplifies the choice for consumers, potentially driving more subscriptions to their ad-supported offering.

Implications of the Basic Plan Retirement

This change has several implications for Netflix users:

  • No True Budget Option: Without the Basic plan, there's no longer a low-cost, ad-free Netflix tier. Viewers wanting to avoid ads will face a significant price increase.
  • Potential for Future Price Hikes: Netflix's earnings report hints at future price adjustments, stating that members may be asked "to pay a little extra" to reflect improvements in their service.
  • Simplified Subscription Structure: The move streamlines Netflix's offerings, making the decision process easier for potential subscribers.

New Opportunities: Sports Streaming

Beyond changes to its core subscription plans, Netflix's earnings report revealed a significant push into live sports:

  • WWE Deal: Netflix landed a landmark 10-year deal to stream WWE's Monday Night Raw. This positions Netflix as a serious player in the live sports landscape.
  • Previous Sports Experiments: The WWE deal follows Netflix's previous live broadcasts of a golf competition and a tennis match.

Technical Considerations

Key technical and infrastructure factors are likely at play for Netflix:

  • Ad Infrastructure: Investments in ad targeting, delivery, and measurement will be crucial for the success of their ad-based plans.
  • Streaming Quality Upgrades: Providing features like higher resolution and downloads across plans might justify future price adjustments.
  • Live Sports Optimization: Handling the real-time nature and technical demands of live sports streaming poses a separate challenge.


The end of Netflix's Basic plan marks a significant shift in its subscription strategy. With a clear focus on growing its ad-supported offering and the bold expansion into the live sports arena, Netflix's future will be characterized by both price adjustments and an evolving content library.