Netflix announced some big upgrades to its popular ad-supported plan that debuted last year, making it even more valuable for users. At the same time, the company confirmed the crackdown on password sharing is coming to the U.S. this summer.
In a note to shareholders for Q1, Netflix confirmed the “basic with ads” plan would get a boost from 720p to 1080p resolution, plus the ability to watch two streams simultaneously. The new high-quality streams are available in Canada and Spain starting today, with other regions getting it later this month.
The first-ever Netflix plan with ads arrived last October for $6.99, promising around four to five ads per hour. However, the biggest complaint since is the poor 720p resolution of streams. Thankfully, users can enjoy the return to 1080p content starting this month.
It’s worth noting that many ad-supported plans from its rivals are in 1080p, not to mention offer HDR10, Dolby Vision, and other high-end features. Basically, Netflix didn’t have the best option, and with increased competition, we’re all getting a free upgrade.
More importantly, Netflix is getting ready to expand its password-sharing crackdown to the United States, preventing users from sharing passwords outside their households. The same investor note said the crackdown would arrive by the end of Q2 or between now and the end of June.
This means that sometime shortly, Netflix users in the United States that share a password or are signed in on a family member account from another state will lose access. By bolstering the “Basic with ads” plan, those users will have an affordable alternative while continuing to use Netflix.
Finally, did you know Netflix still ships DVDs? I didn’t. The company confirmed it would shut down its DVD shipping service later this year.