Netflix Testing New 'Ultra' Tier of Service That Cuts Premium Plan Streams From Four to Two

Netflix is reportedly testing a new tier of service for subscribers that supersedes the existing top tier Premium plan, according to Italian blog Tutto Android.

Titled "Ultra", the new plan would allow up to four devices to receive Ultra HD and HDR video, and audio streaming at the same time. In Italy, the tier is priced at 16.99 euros, or approximately $19.80.

Image credit: Evan Davis

Netflix has three subscription plans at present: Basic ($7.99), Standard ($10.99), and Premium ($13.99). Basic subscribers can watch Netflix on one screen at a time, Standard enables simultaneous viewing on two screens, and Premium allows up to four screens to be used at once to stream the service.

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 many never offer the plan and its features to a wider base.

Promotional screens suggests 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.

Netflix has increased the price of its subscription plans in the past. Back in November the company hiked its Standard plan by $1 and its top Premium plan by $2.

Tag: Netflix

Top Rated Comments

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19 months ago
In others words, Netflix is testing a plan that reduces my subscription from 1 to 0.
Rating: 33 Votes
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19 months ago
Basically a price hike, as the top tier "Ultra" plan is not giving anything additional over what the premium gives now.
Rating: 28 Votes
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19 months ago
Hold it!

Premium has 4K but will no longer offer HDR? You can only get HDR from from the new Ultra plan?

That’s some shady nonsense there. No service I can think of has ever uncoupled 4K and HDR wherever available.
Rating: 23 Votes
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19 months ago
Reminded me that I haven’t paid my cousin in 1,5 years. Ooops
Rating: 19 Votes
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19 months ago
"We continuously test new ways to hike prices at Netflix and these tests typically vary in decreases of service," Smita Saran, a Netflix spokeswoman, said in an email. "In this case, we are testing halving services and features to better understand how consumers get ripped off by Netflix."

I fixed your quote MR.
Rating: 15 Votes
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19 months ago
They’re just halving the number of parallel streams for all packages, and adding a more expensive package that still has 4 streams.

The point is probably to cut down on account sharing.
Rating: 10 Votes
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19 months ago
I'll not upgrade, I'll live with the lower tier, thank you very much.
Rating: 10 Votes
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19 months ago

Does it really matter? With the ISPs enacting data caps 4K streaming is pretty much dead. Sadly, and all thanks to the FCC, I’d rather have a non 4K plan.

That’s only a problem in the USA though,no data caps in the EU.
Rating: 8 Votes
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19 months ago
They must have seen the news about AT&T raising their prices...
Rating: 7 Votes
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19 months ago

This graph shows that the premium plan will keep the 4 simultaneous streams. The graph on the article showed 2.

Other websites with this article are also showing 4. I wonder where macrumors got this. Anyways, I hope it is 4 as in my household we use 3 and I don't want to pay more.


I found my answer on another website. It seems like they are testing various versions of the new plans:

For some people, the offer left all other plans the same, while for others, it reduced the Premium plan's streaming to a maximum of two devices at once and removed the option for HDR, while dropping the Standard HD-only plan to a single stream. The new Ultra tier consistently offered 4K with HDR and a maximum of four streams.

In other words, they are still figuring out how many benefits to remove from lower tiers to entice customers to pay more on the higher tiers.
Rating: 5 Votes
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