Netflix just killed off my favourite way to stream

With Netflix 'Basic' no more in the US and the UK, is now the time to unsubscribe?

Aaron Paul and Kata Mara
(Image credit: Nick Wall / Netflix)

Netflix has quietly removed the cheapest way to watch the streaming service without ads in a move that will likely be controversial, considering the cost-of-living crisis. 

After first being axed from Canada in June, Netflix has now done away with its 'Basic' tier in both the US and the UK. The plan was nicely sandwiched between 'Basic with ads' and Netflix's 'Standard' plan as a cost-cutting alternative for subscribers that wanted to save money but avoid ads. While the plan didn't give you access to HD or Ultra HD resolution, it still provided access to all of Netflix's movies and shows without any interruptions. 

Netflix 'Basic' was priced at $8.99 / £6.99 a month. Anyone subscribed to the tier will still be able to access it, however, if they unsubscribe or change tiers then there is no way to reclaim the previous offer. 

T3 has reached out to Netflix for comment. 

"The Basic plan is no longer available for new or rejoining members," reads a statement on Netflix's website. "If you are currently on the Basic plan, you can remain on this plan until you change plans or cancel your account." 

Netflix has three streaming plans now available:

  •  Netflix standard with adverts – $6.99 / £4.99 a month 
  •  Netflix Standard – $15.49 / £10.99 a month 
  •  Netflix Premium – $19.99 / £15.99 a month 

Netflix is due to report its latest earnings in the coming hours, with more information likely to surface then. No doubt this decision will go towards the company's aim of reclaiming customers after losing subscribers throughout 2022. It then began cracking down on password sharing so that only people in the same household can access the same account. While not a popular move, it did help Netflix to add 1.75 million subscribers in Q1 2023. 

As someone that is subscribed to Netflix 'Basic' it's obviously disappointing to see the tier disappear. I will likely consider my options but try to hang onto the cheapest tier without ads for as long as possible, having sacrificed Disney Plus from my streaming collection in recent months, due to little incentive outside of Marvel shows (and even Secret Invasion has not been that great). Either way, it's hard to look at this as a consumer-friendly move. 

It's not the first controversial move the streamer has made as of late. Last month Netflix cancelled Catherine Tate's show, Hard Cell, but forgot to tell the star that it wouldn't be returning. It's now been added to the ever-growing pile of Netflix shows cancelled in 2023, with well over dozen confirmed to not be coming back so far.  

Matt Poskitt
Freelance Writer

Matt is a freelance writer for T3, covering news and keeping up with everything games, entertainment, and all manner of tech. You can find his work across numerous sites across the web, including TechRadar, IGN, GamesRadar, Tom's Guide, Fandom, NME, and more. In his spare time, Matt is an avid cinema-goer, keen runner and average golfer (at best). You can follow him @MattPoskitt64