Netflix last month introduced a new ad-based plan in an attempt to attract more subscribers, since this tier is a bit less expensive than the others. And the company seems to be really determined to force users to watch ads or spend more to get rid of them, as the cheapest ad-free plan has been hidden from its website.
Netflix wants to push subscribers to more expensive plans
As noted by technoblog, the Netflix website no longer shows the basic ad-free plan to some users when they try to subscribe to Netflix. Instead, the only options available are the Basic with ads, Standard, and Premium plans. 9to5Mac can also confirm that Netflix is indeed hiding the cheapest ad-free plan from its website.
But that doesn’t mean that Netflix has discontinued the basic ad-free plan. There’s still a way to choose that tier, but it’s now hidden in a really small link on the Netflix subscription page. Some users can still see the four plans in the list without having to click on any links, so it seems that the company is running some sort of A/B test.
technoblog explains that Netflix is probably using dark pattern practices to make users choose between a less advantageous option and other more expensive ones.
This can be considered a dark pattern, the name given to the practice of luring the user into less interesting or advantageous options. Apparently, the intention is to push those who don’t want a plan with advertises to a much more expensive plan.
In the US, the Basic plan with ads costs $6.99 per month, while the same plan without ads costs $9.99. The Standard plan costs $15.49 per month – $8.50 more than the cheapest plan currently available. There’s also the Premium plan, which costs $19.99 per month, pushing subscribers into a tier $13 more expensive than the cheapest one.
Netflix’s Basic plan only allows streaming on a single device in 720p resolution. The Standard plan works with two devices simultaneously at 1080p resolution, while the Premium plan enables up to four devices simultaneously at 4K resolution. It’s uncertain at this point whether Netflix plans to discontinue the ad-free basic tier.
Netflix’s ad-based plan still doesn’t work on Apple TV
When Netflix introduced its Basic plan with ads, the company also revealed that the new cheaper plan wouldn’t be available for Apple TV users. More than a month later, the situation is the same. Those who want to watch Netflix on Apple TV must subscribe to one of the more expensive plans without ads.
The company never explained why the new ad-based plan is not available in Netflix’s tvOS app. But given the current situation in which Netflix may discontinue the Basic plan without ads, Apple TV users may be forced to subscribe to the more expensive plans if they still want to watch Netflix on the device.
It’s worth noting that Netflix’s Basic plan with ads is currently available in the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, Brazil, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, and South Korea.