TORONTO — Netflix is putting the final stake in its cheapest, ad-free "basic" plan in Canada.
After announcing last year that it would no longer offer the $9.99 plan to new or returning subscribers, the streaming giant is phasing out the price level entirely for users who were grandfathered into the plan.
"Basic" subscribers will now need to choose whether to downgrade to a $5.99 plan that includes commercial interruptions — and most of the Netflix catalogue — or pay more for the no-ads plans that start at $16.49 per month.
Netflix told investors in its quarterly financial report on Tuesday that it will eliminate the basic plan first in Canada and the United Kingdom between April and the end of June.
The latest move comes as Netflix looks to push more subscribers to its ad-supported plans, which cost less but are more lucrative for the company since they sell ad space.
Most of the biggest streaming platforms have recently adopted a similar strategy.
Amazon's Prime Video will begin showing commercials on its streaming service in Canada starting on Feb. 5. It will give subscribers an option to "opt-out" by paying more to remove the commercial breaks.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 24, 2024.
David Friend, The Canadian Press