As part of its tier strategy, Netflix is phasing out its basic ad-free plan. The streaming platform is already implementing the idea in Canada and the United States. In fact, the aim is to reduce the number of options to just three: the cheapest plan, which is ad-supported, and two ad-free plans (Standard and Premium). The move tends to widen the price gap between the ad-supported plan and the ad-free options and forces users to pay more if they intend to get rid of advertisements.
In Canada, Netflix no longer offers its basic ad-free plan to new subscribers, although current users may keep it. In the United States, the plan is still available but the company is trying to conceal it, since it is not displayed when somebody is trying to create a new account. Only by clicking on See All Plans button is it possible to find this option.
While Netflix has not made it clear whether it intends to expand the strategy to other territories, it is worth remembering that it is usual for the company to introduce alternatives in certain markets on a trial basis in order to optimize innovations before implementing them in the rest of the world. The removal of the plan in Canada was not officially announced by Netflix, but just noticed by some users, who posted their comments on social media. Then the news was published on Canadian website BlogTO.
The plan being phased out offers a resolution of 720p and allows only one device at a time. The Standard option has a resolution of 1080p and offers the possibility of using two devices at a time. Last, the resolution of the Premium tier is 4K HDR and it is possible to use four devices simultaneously. It is important to note that the ad-supported pack, currently available in twelve countries (including the United States, Canada, Mexico and Brazil) does not allow access to the whole catalog, offers a resolution of 1080p, permits the use of two devices at a time and does not allow downloading of titles.