Netflix Becoming Pricier As It Continues To Withdraw Basic Plan

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In October last year, Netflix decided to withdraw the Basic A$10.99 per month ad-free tier in Australia for new and rejoining subscribers. The decision did not immediately impact those who were already subscribed to the plan and were only renewing it each month.

Then in May this year, the streaming giant raised its subscription fee in Australia across its existing plans.

The cost of a Premium subscription, which includes unlimited ad-free movies and shows which can be watched in Ultra HD, was $A22.99 per month until mid-May. It was hiked A$3 and is now available for $A25.99.

Similarly, a Standard plan with ads is now $A7.99 per month up from A$6.99 and allows two devices to stream Netflix at the same time within a single household.

The other Standard plan which includes unlimited ad free movies and shows in Full HD is now available for $A18.99 per month, up from $A16.99.

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Netflix has an estimated more than 6 million subscribers in Australia. In a letter to shareholders last year, it said that Australia, the US, Canada, UK and Italy were among the first countries where it was withdrawing its Basic tier for new and rejoining subscribers. Now, even those renewing their Basic plan in some of those markets may no longer be able to do so beyond this month.

Basic plan users in the UK who have thus far been renewing their plans have begun seeing on-screen notifications informing them that July 13 would be the last day that they can access the Basic subscription and must now upgrade.

This doesn’t come as a surprise as Netflix did confirm that it would be doing so in an earnings call earlier this year where it said: “The ads plan now accounts for 40 per cent 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.”

Its decision to do so hasn’t yet showed a noticeable impact on its subscriber numbers.

It added 9.33 million customers in the first quarter of this year, taking its subscriber base to nearly 270 million – up 16 per cent during the past 12 months. Also, its operating income climbed 54 per cent with revenue rising to A$3.87 billion, up from A$2.53 billion a year ago.

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