Introduced last month, Netflix’s partially ad-funded subscription comes with many limitations, specifically designed to make the more expensive subscriptions attractive. And to make the new marketing strategy even more profitable, Netflix has made the cheapest ad-free subscription option almost impossible to find.
At least for regions where the subscription option with ads is available, Netflix’s website no longer shows the basic ad-free subscription to users trying to subscribe to Netflix. Instead, the only options available are the Basic with Ads, Standard and Premium plans.
However, since completely eliminating the Basic ad-free subscription is not possible without risking accusations of discrimination between users based on region, Netflix has instead resorted to deceptive promotional tactics. Thus, the options Netflix would like you to choose between (Standard and Premium) appear in plain sight and are highlighted in red, as if they were the only possible choices.
In the absence of prior disclosure, there’s a good chance that visitors won’t even notice the “Want more options” clue at the bottom of the page written in small, grey font, along with the “See al plans” link disguised to be as easily mistaken for the terms of service statement that most people wouldn’t want to read.
Netflix’s basic subscription only allows streaming on one device at 720p resolution. Slightly more expensive, the Standard subscription works with two devices simultaneously at 1080p resolution, while the Premium subscription allows up to four devices simultaneously at 4K resolution.
At this point, it’s uncertain whether Netflix plans to pull the ad-free Basic subscription.