Leave a Comment
Netflix is one of the biggest entertainment giants on the planet, and ascended to that rank in a relatively speedy timeframe, thanks to constant adaptations to how people take in their programming. Another somewhat unique innovation may be on the way. The company is testing a new mobile-only subscription option that could help save Netflix customers a few dollars in the process.
This week, Netflix unveiled its new mobile-specific plan with Malaysia as the first country to reap the benefits. The new plan, which is limited to just phones and tablets, will cost subscribers around RM17, which comes out to around $4 USD. Compare that to what Malaysians are paying for Netflix's Basic plan, which is RM33, roughly $7.90 USD. While not a complete halving of the cost, the new plan will clearly save customers some money on an annual basis.
Beyond prohibiting the use of any TVs or computers, Netflix's new pricing tier also lacks other frills. According to The Star, Subscribers will only be able to watch content on one device at a time, so it's not a plan meant to be used between multiple heavy Netflix bingers. As well, the mobile plan will not allow for any HD programming, and all content will be seen in standard definition. That won't be as much of an issue for some as it will be for others.
Netflix's CEO recently talked about the new pricing plan ahead of its launch, with the goal of expanding its reach even further into countries around the world. Granted, Netflix's global reach is already dwarfing that of many TV networks and studios, with a programming library full of internationally produced content. However, there are many countries where citizens can't afford to pay the full monthly fees.
With its endless amounts of data to sort through, Netflix's powers that be presumably compared TV and computer streaming traffic to that of mobile traffic in order to come to this decision. Which, by all means, is a pretty radical choice for the company, which has been known only to raise its prices to continue paying for part of its exceedingly pricy productions. Even with the limitations therein, a price drop is a pretty interesting move for Netflix.
At this time, Netflix isn't currently going public with any plans to bring this new pricing tier to the U.S. According to TechCrunch, a Netflix spokes person did say that trials of a similar nature of happening in "a few countries" beyond Malaysia, although no specifics were offered up.
Here in the U.S., the last time we got a price change was when its Ultra option was introduced. That one gives customers a chance to stream higher-definition content on 4K screens, which is pretty much the opposite of what the cheapest plan is doing.
I, for one, wouldn't likely ever switch to the mobile-only plan, since I spend the majority of my Netflix viewing with a TV or laptop. It's a changing world, though, so I know there are plenty of people who would easily choose to only watch on tablets and phones if it means saving a few bucks.