Just a few months after Netflix upped the price of its Standard and Premium plans, it's killing off its Basic plan in the UK and Canada before "retiring" it elsewhere too. That was its cheapest ad-free option, and while the move is hardly a surprise – the streamer had already pulled the option for new subscribers – it does mean that the cost of ad-free Netflix is now higher than ever.
The move was announced during this week's earnings call with investors [pdf document]: according to Netflix, "we're looking to retire our Basic plan in some of our ads countries, starting with Canada and the UK in Q2 and taking it from there."
How much is ad-free Netflix in the UK?
If you're a current Netflix Basic subscriber you'll be paying £7.99 per month, but not for much longer. When that option is removed, the cheapest ad-free option will be Netflix Standard, which is £10.99 in the UK at the time of writing. That's a per-household plan, and if you want to add another user it'll cost you an extra £4.99 per month. You're limited to one extra user on the Standard plan and it's a Full HD service, not 4K.
The other option is Standard With Adverts, which is currently £4.99 per month. That has largely the same content as Netflix Standard, although there may be a few exceptions for titles whose owners don't want them to be streamed with ads. You can't add additional family members to that plan if they don't live under the same roof.
Netflix is really keen to get people onto its ad-funded tier, which Netflix says now has 23 million monthly users: increasing that number is a priority for the firm, and co-CEO Greg Peters told investors that moves such as upping the quality to 1080p Full HD and enabling streaming to more than one device at a time had been positive for sign-ups.
It's pretty clear that if you don't want ads, you'll have to pay a growing premium for it – and in their statement to investors, Netflix indicated that more price hikes may be coming. "As we invest in and improve Netflix," they write, "we'll occasionally ask our members to pay a little extra to reflect those improvements."