Oh, Netflix – the streaming giant is making another significant change to its plans and pricing by removing the Basic plan in Australia next week (from October 23, 2023). That means Aussies will either have to deal with ads, or pay more for a Standard subscription.
But it’s not all doom and gloom – current subscribers can thankfully stay on the Basic plan, but if you unsubscribe, the AU$10.99p/m plan will no longer be an option if you want to sign back on in the future.
The Basic plan is already facing the chop in the US, the UK, Canada and Italy, with other countries such as Australia, Japan, Germany, Spain, Brazil and Mexico following suit next week. The removal of the Basic plan was announced in a letter to shareholders, in which Netflix also mentions ongoing negotiations with SAG-AFTRA following the writers’ strike, though this doesn’t appear to be directly connected to the streaming giant’s latest decision.
While Netflix is not increasing the price of any plans in Australia – at least not yet – the shareholder letter does outline price hikes in the US, UK and France on certain tiers.
New plans ahead of the new year
Starting October 23, Aussies will have three subscription options to choose from, but this latest change does remove the most affordable plan without ads – namely the Basic tier that currently costs AU$10.99p/m. If you don’t want to pay AU$6.99p/m for the Standard with ads plan, you’ll be looking at shelling out AU$16.99p/m for the Standard plan without ads with nothing in between to opt for. Both offer two Full HD streams – the only difference between them are the ads on the cheaper tier.
That's quite a steep price difference but Netflix has stated that from November, the cheaper ad-supported subscription will get a few more features, including the ability to download content.
The Premium plan will continue to be priced at AU$22.99p/m. And, of course, the option to add extra non-household members from AU$7.99p/m on either of the ad-free tiers remains as is, which came into play following Netflix’s password sharing crackdown back in May.
According to Netflix, it is keen in pushing its ad-supported tier after its initial success to help the platform draw in more advertisers. However, a report from back in August suggested that despite Netflix seeing its first drop in subscribers since it launched Down Under in 2015, the service is still going strong globally, with the streamer even stating that revenue has grown by 9% YoY on average for paid memberships. So it’s not like Netflix has fallen on hard financial times like many of its consumers.
Netflix and chill, but only if you can afford it
Netflix might be one of the best streaming services in Australia, but it’s hardly the most affordable when it comes to ad-free plans. Other massive streaming services such as Disney Plus, Stan and Prime Video all offer cheaper ad-free plans and a variety of content, with Prime Video offering the cheapest subscription option with its AU$79p/a plan. And as Aussies are facing the pinch of the ongoing cost-of-living crisis, households are facing hard decisions when it comes to their streaming entertainment.
However, the Standard with ads plan is very affordable at AU$6.99p/m and even comes at a cheaper cost than the only other ad-supported streaming service plan in Australia, Binge’s Basic plan at AU$10p/m. But there’s still a number of options for free-to-air shows that Australians can access on the web from websites like ABC, SBS, 7Mate and others if you don’t mind ad breaks and want to save on your viewing entertainment.
This all needs to come with the consideration of what you want to watch – Netflix hosts some of the biggest TV shows currently streaming including the recent and successful anime to live action adaptation of One Piece. Netflix originals also prove to be popular, with shows such as Wednesday, Stranger Things, Never Have I Ever and Cobra Kai pulling in big numbers whenever new seasons hit the service.
Netflix regularly rotates its catalogue with new shows and movies, so while it might be an expensive option, subscribers are spoilt for choice when it comes to finding something to watch – but the same could be said about many of the other streaming services here in Australia.
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Petra is new to the industry, but has had a long-time love of tech, gaming and entertainment, which she now gets to indulge by writing for TechRadar. She’s also keen on sharing news about deals and discounts in the APAC region – with a background in archaeology, she’ll dig deep to find the best deals and thanks to her long history in retail, knows what makes a good bargain. She also is a bit of a keyboard hobbyist, having found enjoyment with mechanical keyboards during 2020’s lockdown, and has big plans to build a fully custom matching keyboard and PC in the near future.