Netflix Is Ending Its Basic Plan in Canada. Is the US Next?

Your future streaming options may be limited to a cheaper, ad-supported plan or a more expensive no-ad option

In this photo illustration, the Netflix logo is displayed on a smartphone screen, next to a login screen, with email, password, and sign in.
Netflix plans are changing in Canada
Photo Illustration by Rafael Henrique/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

While both ideas received a fair amount of backlash at the time (including from us), Netflix’s password-sharing crackdown and introduction of an ad-supported tier have been successful. Next up: The elimination of the streamer’s “Basic” membership, starting in Canada and almost certainly headed here.

Per The Winnipeg Free Press (as reported by Engadget), Netflix announced the ending of its $9.99 Basic plan in Canada, which was the cheapest non-ad subscription option. This leaves consumers choosing between either a cheaper plan with ads (currently $5.99 in Canada) or one of a few more expensive, no-ad options (about $16-$21).

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For now, this blocks the Basic plan for new users, while existing Basic users will be “grandfathered” in and customers on other Netflix plans have an indeterminate time to switch to Basic (if that’s the plan they prefer).

So why do we care about a specific Netflix plan for Canada? Because the U.S. could very well be next. As the Free Press points out, Netflix used the Canadian market as a testing ground for the aforementioned password-sharing crackdown and also started its ad-tier plan in the country (and 11 other countries).

Earlier this spring the streamer announced that five million people were using to its new ad-supported Standard service, a number that’s more than doubled since the beginning of 2023. “More than a quarter of our signups now choose the ads plan in countries where it’s available,” Greg Peters, Netflix’s co-CEO, said in a news release. “Engagement on our ads plan is similar to our comparable non-ads plans.”

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