Netflix Expects to Fully Phase Out Cheapest No-Ads Plan

It’s the beginning of the end for Netflix‘s lowest-cost plan that has no advertising.

In reporting results for the fourth quarter of 2023, Netflix touted its ad-supported plan as accounting for 40% of all Netflix sign-ups in markets where it has launched that, and said the number of subscribers on ad tiers grew almost 70% quarter-over-quarter. The company didn’t break out subscriber numbers but said it recently surpassed 23 million monthly active unique users on advertising tiers.

To drive more customers to the ad-supported plan, the company said it plans to retire the no-ads Basic plan in some of the countries where it has introduced the ad tier. That will start with Canada and the U.K. in Q2 and the company will be “taking it from there,” Netflix said in the Q4 shareholder letter.

Netflix still has “years” of work ahead before the advertising business becomes a meaningful revenue contributor, co-CEO Greg Peters said on the call.

The move to fully phase out Netflix Basic comes after the company stopped offering it to new subscribers in markets including the U.S., Canada and the U.K. Last fall, Netflix increased the price of the Basic plan to $11.99/month in the U.S. 

Netflix’s ad-supported plans currently are available in the U.S., U.K., Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Korea, Mexico and Spain. The Netflix Basic With Ads tier launched in November 2022, priced in the U.S. at $6.99 per month — less than half the price of the Standard plan ($15.49 per month).

The company, as it has routinely said, noted that price increases are on the road map at some point in the future: “As we invest in and improve Netflix, we’ll occasionally ask our members to pay a little extra to reflect those improvements, which in turn helps drive the positive flywheel of additional investment to further improve and grow our service.”

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