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. Known as Ultra, the new tier would allow four devices to receive Ultra HD video and audio streaming simultaneously, according to Italian blog Tutto Android. In Italy, the tier is priced at 16.99 euros, or approximately $19.80. Commenting on the story, Netflix provided CNET with the following statement:
“We continuously test new things at Netflix and these tests typically vary in length of time,” Smita Saran, a Netflix spokeswoman, said in an email. “In this case, we are testing slightly different price points and features to better understand how consumers value Netflix.”
Saran went on to say that not all Netflix subscribers would see the Ultra tier currently being tested, and the company may never offer the plan and its features to a wider base.
Promotional screens suggest that HDR would be exclusive to the Ultra plan, while the above screenshot implies that the number of simultaneous streams for existing Premium users would get reduced from four to two, with only Ultra subscribers getting four at the higher price. Similarly, users on the Standard plan appear to be getting only one stream instead of the usual two.
If the Ultra tier was ever to be officially adopted, it would essentially mean existing Premium users having to pay around $6 more for the same level of service they’re used to.