Netflix is raising prices for millions in UK subscription shake-up

When you subscribe to an annual plan, Disney slashes the price of its streaming plan – so you’ll get access to Disney Plus for free for two months!

Love bingeing shows on Netflix? Well, the latest shake-up from the streamer means you’ll need to pay more than ever before!

That’s because Netflix has scrapped its £6.99 per month subscription fee, known as the Basic tier, for all UK viewers.

The major shake-up means anyone who wants to stream their favourite Netflix boxsets, including exclusive shows like Bridgerton, Stranger Things or Emily In Paris, without adverts will be forced to pay an extra £48 per year. Ouch.

The most affordable advert-free subscription fee for Netflix in the UK now costs £10.99 per month, although the ad-support subscription is still available at £4.99.

It comes after Netflix made similar moves in Canada last month. US viewers lost access to the Basic tier, pushing up prices for ad-free viewing at the same time as UK subscribers.

The latest subscription shake-up means Netflix is pretty pricey compared to the closest competition. Amazon’s Prime Video is available without adverts for £5.99 per month, while Disney+ costs £7.99 per month – although it has already announced plans to introduce adverts to the service in the UK in the coming months.

While the Disney Plus free trial vanished soon after launch, Prime Video is available as part of a 30-day free trial of Amazon Prime to stream as much as you can squeeze into that time. Cancel anytime during the trial and you’ll be charged nothing.

How much does Netflix now cost in the UK?

The latest shake-up from Netflix has simplified the number of subscription tiers …but pushed up prices for UK viewers.

Previously, Netflix offered the following tiers:

Standard with Ads | £4.99
Basic | £6.99
Standard | £10.99
Premium | £14.99

And now, it has removed the “Basic” option, leaving only the following:

Standard with Ads | £4.99
Standard | £10.99
Premium | £14.99

Standard with Ads is the only advert-supported option from Netflix. It offers 1080p HD viewing quality but doesn’t have access to the full catalogue of TV shows, documentaries and movies available on other Netflix tiers, thanks to licensing deals agreed with studios that prevent Netflix from adding ad breaks into their content.

The £4.99 per month subscription is also the only one that does not allow subscribers to download content to view offline on their phone or tablet. Standard with Ads lets you watch on two supported devices at a time. 

This is a dramatic change since the ad-supported subscription was first introduced back in 2022. At launch, it was called Basic with Ads and allowed subscribers to watch Netflix for £4.99 a month but adds several minutes of adverts every hour.

In April 2023, Netflix increased the video quality from 720p to 1080p, and allowed subscribers to watch on two simultaneous streams. This brought forth the name change to Standard with Ads instead of Basic with Ads. 

The Basic tier, which has since now scrapped, cost £6.99 a month and allowed people to watch series and movies without adverts. 

But they were limited to 720p video quality, and they couldn’t use the subscription to any other device. For customers who didn’t want to watch shows or films with adverts, the Basic tier was the obvious choice.

However, you’ll now need to spend a minimum of £10.99 per month to skip the ad breaks on Netflix.

Despite the latest shake-up, Netflix still limits its highest quality of video, 4K Ultra HD, to its most expensive tier, dubbed Premium.

Netflix viewers on Standard or Premium packages could be eligible for Extra Member Slots for £4.99 per person. This allows people outside of your primary address to stream shows.

This additional charge is the result of Netflix’s recent crackdown on password-sharing

Which Netflix, Prime Video, and Disney+ plans don’t have adverts?

Netflix is a bit of an outlier when it comes to adverts. Despite the increased competition around streaming, most entry-level plans in the UK don’t force subscribers to watch adverts when they watch a series or a movie …although that could change in the near future. 

The Standard with Ads subscription costs £4.99 per month, but offers a limited number of movies and shows. You can stream in full 1080p HD quality but only use the account on two devices. 

To avoid the adverts, you’ll have to sign up for the Standard tier, which is £10.99 a month. It has access to the full catalogue of shows and movies but offers the same picture quality and limit on the number of simultaneous streams as Standard with Ads.

If you want to watch in 4K Ultra HD quality, you’ll need to plump for the Premium plan at £15.99.

Disney+, Apple TV+, and Prime Video all offer 4K Ultra HD picture quality at no extra cost. Regardless of the subscription you’ve picked, you’ll benefit from the superior pixel-packed viewing experience.

Disney has introduced adverts in the US, with plans to bring the same ad-supported tier to the UK soon. That means we’d expect to see something similar to what Netflix has rolled out with its Standard with Ads from the House of Mouse.

Disney+ has yet to confirm whether the UK pricing will work in the same way …but it might be a good time to lock in your current ad-free pricing with an annual plan to avoid any turmoil when these changes eventually make their way across the pond in 2023.  

One thing is certain: Disney+ adverts are on the way very soon.

Amazon’s Prime Video offers ad-free viewing on all of its TV shows, documentaries, and films. Amazon has another streamer, dubbed FreeVee, that lives within the Prime Video app on phones, tablets, and streaming dongles.

Shows that have the label “Freevee” will feature adverts. Some shows, like The West Wing, moved from the ad-free Prime Video over to FreeVee following the launch. 

Prime Video is available as a standalone subscription for £5.99, but it’s also included as part of Amazon Prime membership for £8.99 per month. This scheme also bundles next-day delivery on thousands of items from Amazon, music streaming, unlimited cloud backup for your photos, and much more.

The 30-day Prime Video free trial unlocks everything on the streamer, including Hollywood blockbusters and TV shows like Clarkson’s Farm, Carnival Row, Daisy Jones And The Six, The Boys, The Rings Of Power, Star Trek Picard, and more. Prime Video also boasts live sports coverage of Premier League matches, international rugby and the US Open. Cancel anytime during the trial and pay nothing


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