Netflix Premium subscribers could lose HDR as 'Ultra' tier goes into testing

Oscar Cross
July 5, 2018

Netflix is considering moving HDR (High Dynamic Range) to a more expensive Ultra plan.

According to Italian blog site Tutto Android, Netflix is testing a couple variants of a fourth tier.

TuttoAndroid has spotted that some European Netflix users are being presented with an option to try out a new "Ultra" tier, priced at between €16.99 and €19.99 a month. The Ultra tier is being tested at €16.99 in Europe, which equates to £14.99 in the UK. In a move that would surely cause anger, some users noted that the Premium plan's number of screens had been reduced to just two.

The Ultra plan option may not be implemented broadly and, at the testing stage, not all users will automatically see it as an option.

PhoneArena claims some Italian users are already seeing promotional material that describes Premium thusly, and that show the Standard plan, which now allows streaming across two devices simultaneously, being downgraded to one device.

The difference between Ultra and the present Premium tier is subtle.

In one of the scenarios, the company would make HDR content - which is already available on a number of devices - exclusive to the most expensive plan. In the U.S., Netflix only offers three plans: $7.99 for Basic, $10.99 for Standard and $13.99 for Premium.

But with a high price, it should expect rivals like Amazon, Hulu, and Apple to compete by undercutting it, and potentially offering new movies and shows from major distributors through their services earlier than Netflix can. That may sound exciting, but there's a downside: other plans might be losing screens, making this new pricing structure a sort of price hike in disguise. So, you have to earn it first by doing spectacular content that everybody wants to see.

In the meantime, Netflix reached out to BGR with a comment on the matter, saying that it's just a test so that Netflix can understand how consumers value Netflix. Its website says the company may need to adjust prices to "respond to local market changes" such as taxes or inflation.

To get HDR, subscribers would have to pay extra.

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