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Netflix Ends Apple Billing for Longtime Users of Old Low-Cost Basic Plan

Netflix Ends Apple Billing for Longtime Users of Old Low-Cost Basic Plan

Streaming giant is forcing ad-free viewers into higher-tier pricing

By Edward C. Baig,
Published February 27, 2024

Your Netflix subscription is about to go dark if you’ve been paying to watch the leading streaming service through Apple.

Netflix confirmed that it is pulling the plug on subscribers of the company’s discontinued Basic plan who were billed via Apple’s iTunes. The company’s stance, which applies only to customers of that plan in the United States and certain other markets, means you’ll have to choose a new credit or debit card payment method and pay Netflix directly to keep bingeing your favorite TV shows and movies.

Never mind that you have been a longtime customer who thought you were grandfathered into a $9.99 ad-free monthly price. You’ll be paying more, at least to keep the ad-free experience.

To avoid any interruption, you’ll have to act before your next billing cycle. Netflix did not disclose the number of customers affected.

One way Netflix is searching for extra profits

“The squeeze is on. Streaming services are trying to drive higher revenues in a maturing business,” says Andrew Hare, a New York-based senior vice president for entertainment and games at business strategy firm Magid.

 “Netflix knows they can find extra [revenue] by moving some legacy customers off of iTunes billing, which includes giving [Apple] a cut of each subscription,” he says. “We can expect more of these types of strategies from the streaming giants who have to serve Wall Street and their customers.”

Netflix is the only major streaming service that is making a profit, analysts say. At least it was at the end of 2023.

What Netflix streaming costs

Netflix previously removed its Basic plan for new or returning customers in July 2023, but left it in place for current subscribers of that plan. At the same time, Netflix also cracked down on sharing logins with people who don’t live under the same roof.

These days, Netflix’s cheapest ad-free Standard plan costs $15.49 a month and lets you watch in full 1080p high definition on two supported devices at a time. Under the Standard plan, you can add up to one extra member for $7.99 a month.

The higher-tier Premium plan costs $22.99 a month and lets you watch on four supported devices at a time with an option to add up to two extra members for the same $7.99 a month per person price.

Netflix still offers a Standard $6.99 a month plan for viewers willing to tolerate ads.

How to change your billing choices

To add the new payment method on a computer, click the Profile icon on the upper right corner of the screen, click Account | Manage payment method and enter the necessary card information.

Inside the app on a phone, tap the three horizontal lines ≡ at the upper right, tap Account | Membership & Billing and enter your card number.

If you’re uncertain whether your Netflix account is billed through Apple, check the Membership & Billing section of the Account page. You also can visit Apple support if you have Apple billing questions.

Keep in mind that you cannot use Netflix gift cards to restart your Netflix account.

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