by Graham Pierrepoint
Netflix is now a global brand of unbelievable proportions – who would have thought, even a few years ago, that a relatively humble online DVD rental service would change the way we watch movies and TV at home? Who envisaged the brand putting the final nails into Blockbuster Video’s coffin? Who thought that Netflix would go toe-to-toe with Disney – one of the biggest entertainment brands of all-time – on the stock exchange? Shareholders are very happy indeed – and viewers are, too, with the service continuing to usher in new subscribers and content on a regular basis.
However, as businesses adapt and grow, changes will need to be made with regard to subscription models and pricing. Netflix’s pricing tariffs have altered over the years to keep up with demand and to help fund their expanding library of original content (such as Stranger Things, 13 Reasons Why and BoJack Horseman), which is understandable – but news has emerged recently that suggests a major shift in subscriber features may be coming into play, meaning that Netflix fans are advised to be vigilant with regard to news coming from the video streamer soon.
The changes are reportedly set to be trialled in Europe under what is being mooted as ‘Netflix Ultra’ – reportedly costing €19.99 per month, certain subscribers will be offered the chance to upgrade to Ultra to access certain features such as multi-screen streaming, 4K streams and more besides – meaning that the tariff system and the tiered subscription features could be set to overhaul worldwide if trials show positive uptake – however, this remains unclear as of the time of writing.
“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,” a spokesperson has advised. “Not everyone will see this test and we may not ever offer specific elements included in the test to our members.”
▶ Netflix Testing 'Ultra' Streaming Plan
Therefore, it’s plain to see that waters are being tested to see quite what users are willing to pay for over time – it’s a smart strategy, though most Netflix users, by the looks of things, won’t be required to participate. It’s safe to say that – should any big changes be brought in – the video streamer will inform its mass user base as soon as physically possible. Keep streaming – and don’t panic just yet!