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Netflix is undeniably on top of the streaming game, and efforts to catch up from other platforms are unlikely to be successful any time soon. After all, Netflix has the potential to become worth more than Disney in the not-too-distant future. As long as subscribers are happy with the services and options, Netflix may remain streaming king. Now, it seems that the streaming giant is testing a new option that will cost more than the priciest plan currently available and go by the name "Ultra." Here's what we know.
Italian Netflix subscribers have noted that the streamer is apparently toying with introducing a higher-priced tier of service called Ultra that would reportedly offer more than what Netflix's current highest-priced tier offers. The three tiers available now are Basic, Standard, and Premium, with Premium costing subscribers $13.99 per month. For the potential Ultra tier, the price is listed as €16.99 in Italy. If the new tier was to become available in the U.S. market, the €16.99 equals out to around $19.80. The Ultra offer is all well and good as an option for subscribers if it offers new services, but existing subscribers may not be too happy.
According to Italian blog TuttoAndroid (via PhoneArena), the introduction of Ultra could mean unfortunate things for Premium subscribers. Some consumers in the Italian market currently being tested have reported that the perks of Premium are being changed for the introduction of Ultra. Premium currently offers the freedom to stream Netflix on four screens at a time, download content on four phones or tablets, and watch in HD and Ultra HD where available.
Ultra is described as offering four devices the ability to receive "Ultra HD video and audio streaming," which sounds more or less the same as the existing Premium plan. Some Italian subscribers report that they're seeing the Premium plan downgrade from four screens to two, which would undoubtedly make a lot of people who have been paying the Premium price for four screens pretty unhappy. That said, other Italian consumers report that Premium's perks will remain the same in the promotional material they've received.
It's worth noting that Netflix's test run of the Ultra tier doesn't seem to extend beyond a certain part of the Italian market at this point, so U.S. subscribers don't need to start worrying that they'll soon be expected to shell out more money to keep the Premium services they enjoy. According to Netflix spokeswoman Smita Saran in an email (via CNET), the streaming service is "testing slightly different price points and features to better understand how consumers value Netflix." She didn't clarify how long the tests will run or if they will expand beyond Italian markets.