Netflix has officially retired its ad-free Basic subscription plan in some countries, including Canada and the United Kingdom. New or returning members won’t be able to join the Basic plan and will have to join the next best, the $15.49 per month plan, a considerable increase in the cost.
Co-CEO Greg Peters addressed investors in a video interview, emphasising the company’s commitment to scaling its ad-supported offering, which currently boasts 23 million monthly active users. As per The Verge, he highlighted ongoing efforts to enhance the ad-supported plan’s appeal, including last year’s improvements like multiple streams and the introduction of download capabilities.
While Netflix’s move to bolster its ad-supported user base is evident, the adjustments in pricing and plan structures may raise eyebrows among subscribers. Peters noted that the company’s strategy involves “shifting our plans and pricing structure in other places” to accommodate evolving priorities.
Notably, Netflix also revealed impressive growth, gaining 13.1 million subscribers in the final quarter of 2023, bringing its global total to a staggering 247 million subscribers. However, as the streaming giant continues to invest in and enhance its services, executives clarified that occasional price increases would be necessary to reflect these improvements.
Netflix also challenges the traditional TV domain by inking a $5 billion deal with the WWE’s Monday Night Raw, marking a significant foray into the live sports arena. This move comes after Netflix’s recent ventures into live sports broadcasting, including a golf competition and an upcoming live tennis match featuring Rafael Nadal and Carlos Alcaraz.
This deal will challenge NBC Universal’s Peacock, which currently houses WWE content but does not broadcast Monday Night Raw live and retains rights to premium events like the Royal Rumble and Wrestlemania. Most streaming services, including Disney have increased their subscription prices.
Netflix has also planned to venture into brick-and-mortar multipurpose stores by 2025, furthering their user base.