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How much does Netflix cost? A breakdown of the streamer’s plans

When it comes to the myriad of streaming options available to us, Netflix still reigns supreme with more than 232 million subscribers as of early 2023. One of the original platforms for web-connected viewing, the streamer is home to thousands of movies, shows, and exclusives. While many of us already count Netflix among their roster of services, there are still some users who may be opting into their first Netflix membership. Maybe you’re checking your options since Netflix announced its pending password crackdown or, since the rocketing emergence of Free Ad-Supported Streaming Television (FAST) services such as Tubi, Pluto, and The Roku Channel, you’re asking yourself what Netflix’s pricing looks like lately, especially since launched its $7 per month Standard with ads tier (formerly called Basic with ads) at the end of 2022.

So, how much do Netflix plans cost? Well, that depends on what exactly you need from it. Netflix’s streaming plans feature tiered offerings based on the price you’re willing to pay. If you can make do with the most basic offering no-ad offering, you can get away with handing over just $10 as a Netflix subscriber each month, which is $5 less than you’d pay for streaming competitor Hulu with no ads. However, if you find yourself needing a bit more than what the base plan has to offer, you could spend as much as $20 for a Netflix Premium plan each month. In the meantime, here’s a breakdown of Netflix’s plan options. 

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Streaming plans

Netflix Who's watching/manage profiles screen.

A Netflix account now has four different streaming plans: Standard with Ads (as of November 2022), Basic, Standard, and Premium. But what do each of those tiers translate to in terms of on-demand content?

The actual catalog remains consistent across the board, with a Basic subscriber having access to the same material as those on a Premium monthly plan. Differences come in the form of resolution — the Standard with ads and the Standard plan now stream at Full HD (1080p). The Basic plan is now the only plan still streaming in just HD (720p) resolution. The most expensive option, the Premium plan, can tap into content in 4K Ultra HD. Netflix remains one of the few streaming video services that require a more expensive plan for features like 4K, HDR, and Dolby Atmos.

Another notable difference between a Standard with ads, Basic, Standard, and Premium Netflix subscriptions is the number of people who can use the same account at once — starting at one user with the Basic option, two with the Standard with ads and Standard plans, and topping out at four with the priciest. That means that four friends and family members from the same primary household can all watch a show on the same account, at the same time, from anywhere in the world.

Lastly, one additional difference to consider with the coming of the Standard with ads tier (outside of having to watch between four and five 15- or 30-second ads per hour) is that some movies and shows will not be available, and users will not be able to download content for offline viewing.

Split the cost with four friends, and the Premium plan comes out to $5 per month. (Of course, customers famously share their Netflix passwords with friends and family, but the company is beginning to crack down on password sharing by testing a Buy Additional Homes feature in Latin America, and recently in Canada, New Zealand, Portugal, and Spain.)

Plan Price (U.S.) Price (Canada) Number of screens at once Resolution
Standard with Ads $7 $6 2 Full HD (1080p)
Basic $10 $10 1 HD (720p)
Standard $15.50 $16.50 2 Full HD (1080p)
Premium $20 $21 4 HD + Ultra HD

DVD and Blu-ray

While Netflix has remained true to its roots, continuing to run its DVD-by-mail rental service through its site, it recently announced that in September of 2023, the stalwart rental service will ship its last DVD rental.

The DVD-to-mail service preceded the arrival of its streaming platform in 2010 and the meteoric rise of smart TVs and various Roku devices. For the time being, you can still rent DVDs through the service though. The Basic Netflix subscription tier is priced at $10 per month for access to an unlimited amount of DVDs and Blu-rays, with rentals limited to just one disc at a time.

However, customers looking to have an exciting night in front of the TV can upgrade to Premier, which costs $20 per month for the option to borrow up to three discs at once. Once September rolls around though, there are a number of other DVD rental services you can use, and we’ve rounded them all up for you.

Plan Price
Discs per month
Number of discs out at once
Basic $10 Unlimited 1
Standard $15 Unlimited 2
Premier $20 Unlimited 3

Which Netflix subscription is best?

The Netflix home screen with Cobra Kai.

The Standard or Premium plans are great places to get started. Each of these plans allows viewers to get the Full HD experience and beyond. If you want to dip your toe in, with the upgraded Full HD stream of the Standard with ads tier, this could also be a good place to start. As an added perk, the Standard with ads, Standard, and Premium subscription plans offer sharing, meaning you can view Netflix content on multiple devices.

If you have a 4K TV, a Premium account is an excellent upgrade from all the other tiers. Because a 4K Ultra HD screen has four times the pixels, that means it has four times the resolution of a Full HD screen. Paying a few extra dollars a month to get the most out of your 4K devices is a worthwhile investment, so go with Premium to access Netflix’s 4K Ultra HD content.

How to save money on a Netflix subscription

There are a number of ways to save some dough when it comes to enrolling in Netflix. As previously mentioned, one of the most common options is sharing the cost of a Netflix account with friends and family. In this case, you’ll probably want to opt for the Premium streaming plan ($20), which unlocks 4K streaming and allows Netflix to be viewed on four screens at once. Be aware of the upcoming crackdown on password sharing in the U.S. though. If we follow in the footsteps of our friends to the north, it might get a little trickier to share a Netflix account.

Another way to get the service for a reduced cost (or for free in some cases) is to be on the lookout for Netflix bundles from internet service providers, TV/smart device companies, and cell phone providers. For instance, T-Mobile subscribers can get a number of Netflix perks via the company’s Netflix on Us offer. One note, however, is it’s not yet clear if Netflix will be offering the Standard with ads tier through third-party providers.

Editors' Recommendations

Derek Malcolm
Contributing Editor – AV + Home Theater
Derek Malcolm is a Toronto-based technology journalist, editor, and content specialist whose work has appeared in…
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