Netflix tests Ultra plan

Martin Brinkmann
Jul 4, 2018
Music and Video

Customers of the streaming service Netflix can choose between three plans right now: basic, standard, and premium. The plans determine the quality of the streams, the number of screens customers can watch Netflix on at the same time, and to how many devices they may download movies and shows to.

It appears that Netflix runs a test right now in Europe and possibly in other regions as well that unlocks a fourth plan.

The Ultra plan, that is how Netflix calls it right now, is the most expensive plan up to date. The pricing fluctuates but it seems to be anywhere between €16.99 and €19.99 per month.

Netflix's current plans go for €7.99, €10.99, and €13.99 respectively. In other words, the Ultra plan is available for €3 to €6 more than Netflix's premium plan. Cord Cutting reports that the price changes depending on the browser that is used. While that is one explanation, it can also be the case that Netflix uses A-B tests and selected different prices for the customer based on that.

netflix ultra plan
via Cord Cutting

You probably wonder what sets it apart from the Premium plan on Netflix. The only difference appears to be that it supports High Dynamic Range (HDR) while all other plans on Netflix don't support the feature anymore according to the listing.

The change may come as a surprise as Netflix states on its website that all four screen Netflix plans support HDR (Dolby Vision and UltraHD Premium). Netflix customers can change the video quality according to their needs but only up to the quality supported by the subscribed plan.

All other features, at least those displayed on the plan selection page on Netflix, match the Premium plan (meaning you get HD and Ultra HD, and access on four screens).

Cnet reports that some Italian customers of Netflix reported that Netflix halved the number of screens that customers can watch streams on simultaneously.

The change is probably part of an A-B test and it is unclear at this point in time whether the changes will be implemented in this form, in a different form, or at all.

Closing Words

The change seems to affect new customers only at the point in time. Not all get the new Ultra option but it is clear that Netflix could introduce the plan for new customers which would pay more money per month for the same set of features that Netflix's Premium plan provides right now.

Netflix's testing of limiting the functionality of its other plans to make the new Ultra plan more appealing is a tactic that may make sense from a business point of view but it is not really clear why the company is not simply testing a price increase of its Premium plan instead as it supports all the features of the Ultra plan at this point.

Now You: are you a Netflix customer? Which plan are you subscribed to?

Netflix tests Ultra plan
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Netflix tests Ultra plan
Netflix runs a test in Europe right now that lists a fourth subscription plan called Ultra to some customers when they open the plan selection screen on the site.
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  1. Asac said on July 15, 2018 at 8:50 pm

    Do you get 720p under basic and 1080p under standard or what do they mean by HD?

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on July 15, 2018 at 9:08 pm

      HD is up to 1080p, Basic is up to 480p

  2. richiniowa said on July 5, 2018 at 3:48 pm

    also available in the US

  3. Apparition said on July 5, 2018 at 3:21 am

    This appears to be a plan to combat account sharing. The Standard plan is lowered from two concurrent streams down to one, and the Premium plan is lowered from four concurrent streams down to two.

    1. Shadow_Death said on July 5, 2018 at 2:14 pm

      Yep, all about money. I wouldn’t be surprised if they tried to blame it on the lack of NN… Like they weren’t already bumping their prices while NN was still a thing.

  4. dmacleo said on July 4, 2018 at 5:08 pm

    as far as I can tell it doesn’t seem to raise the number of allowed devices at once, but thats just from glances as its not option here (for me) yet.
    but I am also grandfathered under an older dvd out plan where I can have 5 at a time, keeping that as I get 3 and wife gets 2 out at a time. grandfathering status may affect this option.

  5. yogaisevil said on July 4, 2018 at 4:26 pm

    I’ve had netflix for 10 years and I don’t care for them any more.

    This tiered system with arbitrary limits can go to hell.

    ‘Greedy corporate gonna make you bleed.’

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