Kiss your grandfathered-in cheap ad-free Netflix plan goodbye

Netflix already stopped offering its cheapest $11.99/month “Basic” ad-free subscription plan to new customers last year. Now it looks like the streamer will be taking it away from existing customers as well. Company executives told investors during its earnings call yesterday that the old plan will be retired entirely in some countries this year. Read more ›

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Netflix drops cheapest ad-free plan in US/UK and Peacock increases prices

Just under a month after Netflix dropped its least expensive ad-free plan in Canada, the streaming service has now done the same in the US and UK. New or rejoining subscribers can no longer select the $9.99/month basic plan, leaving only the $15.49(£10.99)/month or $19.99(£15.99)/month ad-free plans or the $6.99(£4.99)/month ad-supported plan in the US. Existing basic plan subscribers can keep their subscription, for now, as long as they don’t cancel or make any changes to their subscription. Meanwhile, Peacock is increasing its plan prices for everyone, effective August 17th for existing subscribers and immediate for new users. The ad-supported Premium plan is increasing from $4.99 to $5.99/month and the Premium Plus plan is increasing from $9.99 to $11.99/month. Annual pricing for these plans is increasing from $49.99 and $99.99 to $59.99 and $119.99 a year for the Premium and Premium Plus plans, respectively.

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Netflix and Paramount Plus both drop their cheapest ad-free plans

The price gap between ad-supported and ad-free plans for both Netflix and Paramount Plus is growing with the removal of the least expensive ad-free plan on both services in some regions. Netflix has dropped its “Basic” ad-free plan in Canada, which used to cost $9.99 CAD per month, as reported by TechCrunch. Meanwhile, Paramount Plus has dropped its least expensive ad-free plan, which used to cost $9.99 in the US, and is also increasing the price of its cheapest ad-supported plan from $4.99 to $5.99 per month. Read more ›

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Netflix announces new ad-supported plan for $6.99 per month

Netflix stated plans to release an ad-support plan earlier this year and now the details of the new plan have been announced. Netflix with ads will cost $6.99 per month in the US and include one stream at a time at up to 720p video quality. The plan will be available starting November 3rd and it is also coming to Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Mexico, South Korea, Spain, and the UK. In addition to the new ad-supported plan, Netflix will finally be upping its cheapest ad-free plan, which remains at $9.99/month, from 480p SD video to 720p HD video. Read more ›

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Netflix finally adds Frame Rate Matching for Amazon Fire TVs and Fire TV Sticks

Netflix has finally added support for Frame Rate Matching on Amazon Fire TV devices. See here for a thorough explanation of the feature but, in short, this change now allows Fire TVs to change the refresh rate of your TV to exactly match the frame rate of the video being played through Netflix. The result is a perfectly smooth one-to-one correlation between the frames of a video and the frames being shown on the TV, which eliminates video judder artifacts. Read more ›

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Netflix to add a new Ad-Supported Tier in the near future — It’s official

Netflix’s Co-CEO Ted Sarandos has confirmed at the Cannes Lions advertising festival that an a new ad-supported plan will be coming to Netflix, as reported by The Hollywood Reporter. Ads coming to Netflix has been rumored for a while but this is the first official confirmation that it’s coming. The existing tiers will not change and remain ad-free, but at least one new tier will be added, costing less and including ads. This change comes after Netflix lost subscribers last quarter, 200,000 of them, for the first time in a decade. Netflix also laid off 150 employees last month and another 300 this month.

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Netflix increases prices for all plans — What to expect to pay in the coming years if trend continues

Netflix has revealed that it will be raising the price of all of its plans in the US and Canada. The basic plan, which allows for only one non-HD stream, is increasing from $8.99 to $9.99. The standard plan, which allows for 2 simultaneous HD streams, is increasing from $13.99 to $15.49. The premium plan, which allows 4 simultaneous 4K streams, is increasing from $17.99 to $19.99. Here’s a look at the history of Netflix price increases and where the trend says prices will be in the coming years. Read more ›

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Netflix begins streaming video using AV1 codec to Fire TV devices

Netflix has announced that it will begin streaming video using the AV1 video codec to certain TV devices. The list of devices to get the newly supported video codec from Netlfix is short, but Netlfix tells The Verge that the list includes “select Amazon Fire TV devices with Fire OS 7.” The exact Fire TV models in Netflix’s trial, among those that can support the AV1 codec like the Fire TV Stick 4K Max, is unknown, but your device may be among them. Read more ›

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You can now say “Play Something on Netflix” to your Fire TV

Amazon has announced that the voice command “Play Something on Netflix” is now available on Fire TV devices in the US and Canada. Saying the command, either to the remote microphone or hands-free to Alexa on a Fire TV Cube or Fire TV Omni Smart TV, should begin playing something that Netflix thinks you’ll enjoy, making it the quickest way to start watching anything on a Fire TV. This was one of the new upcoming Fire TV features that Amazon teased last month. I tried the voice command myself and, while Alexa seems to indicate it understood the command by responding “Getting something from Netflix,” all that happened is the Netflix app opened. So, it seems like the feature is still in the process of rolling out and may not be available to everyone just yet.

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Amazon is preloading Netflix in the background on Fire TVs so that it launches faster

I’ve spent a large part of today testing how fast every Fire TV model can launch apps for a performance benchmark article I plan to put up on Monday. Something I immediately noticed is that Netflix launches fast. Like, very fast. Actually, it launches too fast. From a fresh reboot of the device, most apps take several seconds to launch. Netflix, on the other hand, launches in 1 to 2 seconds every time. It shouldn’t be launching that fast when the device was just rebooted because there shouldn’t be any apps in memory (RAM). After a bunch of testing, I’ve determined that Amazon is preloading Netflix into memory on Fire TV devices before it is ever launched, making it load faster when/if you do decide to launch it. Amazon is not doing this for other apps, including Prime Video. Read more ›

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