Netflix tests a new “ultra” tier across Europe, but there’s a catch
When Netflix first launched in the UK back in 2012, it offered a fairly simple proposition: £5.99 per month for all the streaming TV you can watch. That got plenty of people hooked, but it didn’t prove to be financially sustainable, and the company has been looking for new ways to make money.
This initially took the form of a bog-standard price increase, though generously frozen for existing subscribers. Now, however, if you sign up to Netflix today you’ll find there are three tiers and the first one is back to £5.99, just as it was back in 2012. The difference is features.
A basic account gets you standard definition and just the one screen at a time, while the standard £7.99 package gives you HD and doubles the screens. If you fork out £9.99 each month you get premium, which gives you 4K streaming on select programmes and up to four screens at once, should you have multiple users in your home or just really love multitasking.
Now, according to reports in the Italian blog TuttoAndroid, Netflix is testing a new tier across Europe: Ultra. So what more do you get for this extra money? Well, that depends on where you’re seeing the test, although before you get too excited, I should say that every answer is a variant of “nothing”.
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Screenshots, like the one below, show an extra lined added to the feature-comparison chart: High dynamic range (HDR). The trouble is that HDR is already part of the 4K package as things stand, so this is more about taking features off premium subscribers, rather than providing new features for videophiles. To add further insult to injury, some users also report the test halving the number of screens for both premium and standard users in order to make Ultra look more appealing.
A spokesperson from Netflix confirmed the tests to CNET, saying: “We continuously test new things at Netflix and these tests typically vary in length of time. In this case, we are testing slightly different price points and features to better understand how consumers value Netflix.”
As yet, we’re yet to hear of anybody seeing the extra tier added in the UK, so British prices remain unclear. In Europe, however, this Ultra tier is being pitched at €16.99 – or around £15.