Netflix is kicking subscribers off its old cheap ad-free plan – now they have a tricky choice

Man watching Netflix on TV
Den billigare prenumerationsplanen med annonser på Netflix är här för att stanna. (Image credit: Shutterstock / Vantage_DS)

Netflix is officially phasing out its basic plan in the UK and Canada, putting already angry subscribers in a tricky spot: either buy another subscription to keep their service or cancel. 

News of the phase-out and images of it were found on the (aptly named) MildlyInfuriating subreddit. They show a Netflix alert informing the viewer that their last day to enjoy the streaming platform is on July 13, with a notice telling them to pick one of three plans. The company is offering the monthly CA$5.99 Standard with Ads plan, the monthly CA$16.49 Standard plan, and the monthly CA$20.99 Premium subscription. The now-retired basic plan cost CA$9.99.

For those in the UK, where the basic plan cost £7.99, the limited subscription options to choose from now consist of Standard with Ads for £4.99 a month, which lets you stream (and download) from two devices at the same time in Full HD, Standard for £10.99 a month with the extra option to add an additional member from a different household and Premium for £17.99 per month, which unlocks 4K HDR, Dolby Atmos and spatial audio for four simultaneous streams and six downloads with four extra members from outside your household.  

People are understandably not happy. The comment section of the original post is filled with users airing out their frustrations and disappointment at the turn the platform is taking. Even a few are lamenting the good old days before all these changes started happening

Phase out begins

It’s unknown exactly where the phase-out is occurring, as the poster doesn’t reveal their location. However, they’re probably Canadian, as the prices listed in the image are for Netflix subscriptions in Canada. That tracks, as threads on the Netflix subreddit from the last two months strongly suggest the Basic plan is being killed off in Canada and the United Kingdom first.

Commenters in those two posts claim to have received emails from the platform informing them that the service is ending and recommending they pick a different plan. What's more, if you go over to either the Canadian or UK Plans and Pricing page on Netflix’s Help Center, there’s a notice that reads, “The Basic plan has been discontinued.” 

Additionally, it appears the phase-out is happening in waves. One of the posters in the earlier subreddit threads said they had until June 8 to pick out a new plan. The other was given a deadline of June 15. With July 13 as the current shut-off date, it's possible there will be another wave soon after.

Slowly, but surely

It’s unknown at the time of this writing if the company plans to do the same in the United States or any other countries, although there's a good chance it will happen. After all, American users have been unable to sign up for a Basic plan since July 2023. We also reached out to Netflix, asking if we could get an idea of when the US phase-out will begin.

A company representative told us they’re “looking to retire [their] Basic plan in some of [their] ads countries, starting with Canada and the UK in Q2 and taking it from there.” Netflix couldn’t give us an exact timeline, but it does seem that the Basic plan will inevitably end in the US sometime in the future. We're sure there will be another wave of outrage at that point.

If you're looking to try out other platforms, be sure to check out TechRadar's latest round up of the best streaming deals for July 2024.

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Cesar Cadenas

Cesar Cadenas has been writing about the tech industry for several years now specializing in consumer electronics, entertainment devices, Windows, and the gaming industry. But he’s also passionate about smartphones, GPUs, and cybersecurity.