Netflix’s new pricing tier may seriously downgrade its existing Standard and Premium Plans
Netflix is testing out a new tier of service for consumers who want to watch their content in 4K resolution with a layer of high dynamic range (HDR) color and contrast layered on top. Dubbed ‘Ultra’ Known as Ultra, the new tier would allow up four devices to receive the improved audio and video quality simultaneously, according to Italian blog Tutto Android.
Netflix has confirmed testing of the new tier, which is priced at €16.99 in Italy or about $19.80 USD. Currently, the streaming giant offers three different pricing options: $7.99 Basic, which allows users to watch Netflix on one screen at a time; $10.99 Standard, which allows simultaneous viewing on two screens; and $13.99 Premium, which allows simultaneous viewing on four screens.
“We continuously test new things at Netflix and these tests typically vary in length of time,” Smita Saran, a Netflix spokeswoman, said in an email to CNET. “In this case, we are testing slightly different price points and features to better understand how consumers value Netflix.”
Some are skeptic that the introduction of the new tier could negatively affect the current standard and premium plans. Italian users say “promotional material” from Netflix indicates the new plan would halve the number of screens Premium users can use simultaneously from four to two, while the Standard plan may be downgraded to just one display, PhoneArena reports. If the rumors are true, Netflix would basically be forcing those who want to have the ability to simulcast on four screens to pay an upgrade fee for new features they may never use, especially considering many consumers own TVs that aren’t compatible with 4K viewing. Also, if the new pricing points are correct, this would be the second price hike for Netflix customers in less than 10 months.
The news of the Ultra tier comes at a time when many OTT services have started to raise prices. Within the past six months, AT&T’s DirecTV Now, Dish’s Sling TV, YouTube TV, and Sony’s Vue have all raised their monthly subscription cost by $5.