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Some Netflix subscribers face price hike as no-ads basic plan ends in Canada

In a recent announcement, Netflix has revealed its decision to discontinue its most affordable, ad-free "basic" plan in Canada. This move, initially disclosed last year, not only impacts new subscribers but also extends to existing users who were grandfathered into the basic plan.

Starting between April and the end of June, Netflix will begin phasing out the basic plan for Canadian users, as mentioned in the company's quarterly financial report presented to investors. Subscribers currently on the basic plan will be faced with a choice: either downgrade to a $5.99 plan that includes commercial interruptions or opt for one of the no-ads plans, which now start at $16.49 per month.

This decision aligns with Netflix's broader strategy of encouraging more users to switch to its ad-supported plans. While these plans come at a lower cost, they prove to be more financially rewarding for the streaming giant as it opens up additional revenue streams through advertising.

The shift in pricing and plan structures is not unique to Netflix, as several other major streaming platforms have also adopted similar strategies. Amazon's Prime Video, for instance, is set to introduce commercials on its streaming service in Canada starting February 5. Amazon will offer subscribers the option to "opt-out" of these commercial interruptions by paying a higher subscription fee, providing an alternative for those who prefer an ad-free viewing experience.

For Netflix users, the decision to discontinue the basic plan may lead to a potential price hike for some subscribers. The $9.99 basic plan, which was already not available for new or returning subscribers, will soon be entirely phased out, leaving users with the choice of either embracing ads on the $5.99 plan or opting for one of the more expensive no-ads plans starting at $16.49 per month.

This move by Netflix indicates a broader industry trend of streaming platforms diversifying their revenue streams and finding a balance between subscription fees and ad revenue. As the competition in the streaming landscape intensifies, companies are exploring different models to attract and retain subscribers while maintaining profitability.

It remains to be seen how existing Netflix subscribers will respond to this change, whether they opt for the more affordable ad-supported plans or are willing to pay a premium for an ad-free experience. As the streaming industry continues to evolve, consumers can anticipate further adjustments in pricing structures and plan offerings as companies adapt to the dynamic landscape of digital entertainment.