When it comes to the myriad of streaming options available to us, Netflix still reigns supreme. One of the original platforms for web-connected viewing, the original streamer is home to thousands of movies, shows, and exclusives. While many of us are already subscribed, there are still some users who may be opting in to their first Netflix membership. Or maybe you’re just curious about what the company is charging these days, especially since it just announced its new Basic with Ads plan that will take effect on November 3.
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, you can get away with handing over just $10 as a Netflix subscriber each month, which is 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 see as much as $20 for a Netflix plan piling on top of your credit card debt month after month. And that’s not even mentioning the aforementioned ad-supported Netflix plan, which is now the cheapest offering at $7 per month. More on that below. In the meantime, here’s a breakdown of Netflix’s plan options.
A Netflix account now has four different streaming plans: Basic with Ads (as of November 3), 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. Limitations come in the form of resolution — a Basic plan can’t stream above standard definition (this will get a bump up to HD 720p along with the Basic with Ads tier in November), while a Standard plan is restricted to just Full HD (this is not changing). 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 requires a more expensive plan for features like 4K, HDR, and Dolby Atmos.
Another notable difference between a Basic with Ads, Basic, Standard, and Premium Netflix subscriptions: the number of people who can use the same account at once — starting at one user with the Basic with Ads and Basic options and topping out at four with the priciest. That means that four friends and family members 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 Basic 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 it 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.)
|Plan||Price (U.S.)||Price (Canada)||Number of screens at once||Resolution|
|Basic with Ads||$7||$6||1||HD (720p)|
|Basic||$10||$10||1||HD (720p) as of November 3|
|Standard||$15.50||$16.50||2||Full HD (1080p)|
|Premium||$20||$21||4||HD + Ultra HD|
Netflix has remained true to its roots, continuing to run its DVD-by-mail rental service, which preceded the arrival of its streaming platform in 2010 and the meteoric rise of smart TVs and various Roku devices. The only difference these days is you won’t find DVD and Blu-ray options on Netflix’s site. Instead, disc plans have been relegated to DVD.netflix.com.
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.
||Discs per month
||Number of discs out at once|
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. The stream quality you get with Netflix’s Basic with Ads and Basic plans do not currently reach the same standards as these two. As mentioned above, Netflix Basic with Ads and Basic plan subscribers will only have access to HD streams at 720p, and while it’s a step up, if the resolution is your main criterion, then pass on these tiers. As an added perk, both the 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 Standard or Basic. 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. If you do, you’ll be able to stream popular TV shows like Bridgerton in glorious 4K Ultra HD.
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.
Another way to net 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 Basic with Ads tier through third-party providers.
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