Being able to watch a movie or a favorite TV series on-demand has its significant benefit than having to rely on pre-programmed shows or renting movies. So much so, in fact, that the Netflix we know now was essentially a product of its evolution from being a DVD rental company into a subscription-based streaming giant it is today.
It has been almost a decade now since Netflix ventured into video streaming business and, subsequently, as an exclusive distributor and even a producer of its own films — giving even more security to its dominant position in the market.
However, being able to provide what its customers want in terms of entertainment is only one aspect that made Netflix a household name. Another important reason, which is oftentimes overlooked, is its reasonable pricing.
For a long while, since Netflix introduced its service offering in the Philippines, avid consumers have three options for a subscription to get a quick fix to their entertainment itch—Mobile, Basic, Standard, and Premium. But with the recent addition of the mobile-only plan, these selections have become 4-tiered, instead of three.
Comparison of Netflix Plans in the Philippines
Netflix has valid reason why it had to separate its offered subscription plans into multiple choices and is best explained under the idea that the more you pay, the better quality and more inclusions are included in the service.
Let us start with the newest and, apparently, least costly of all available plans, which was just recently added around a week ago.
Netflix Basic with Ads Plan
After plenty of rumors, Netflix finally confirmed the “Basic with Ads” plan. It will be launched in select countries first before it becomes available globally. It’s going to cost around $6.99/month, but the Philippines will probably get better pricing like its other plans.
The Netflix Basic with Ads plan will be limited to HD (720p) streaming only for one (1) device and will include around 4 to 5 minutes of advertisement per hour. Ads are expected to be 15 to 30 seconds long, similar to television executions. Take note that unlike YouTube, viewers will not be able to skip ads.
Another limitation is subscribers will not be permitted to download content for offline viewing. In addition, not all Netflix content will be available for streaming, as there are licensing issues with some studios and networks.
Netflix Mobile-only Plan
At only Php149, this Netflix mobile-only plan—true to its name—offers a streaming service to all of Netflix’s large and dynamic library, exclusively on a single mobile device per user.
Some may think that this option poses a serious loophole in that mobile users can actually employ a “hack” which will enable them to view whatever they are watching in Netflix on a larger screen by merely casting the device to a bigger screen.
But Netflix employed a fool-proof approach to offset this by making the technique ineffective. In short, you can only watch Netflix on your mobile device and screen casting is not allowed.
UPDATE: One of our readers found a workaround by installing the Netflix APK on an Android TV Box. Netflix probably recognizes the Android TV Box as a phone, which is the reason why users can get away with streaming on a bigger screen.
Netflix Basic Plan
Moving forward, let us look at what the Netflix Basic Plan has to offer. At some point, the basic plan was Netflix’s cheapest subscription plan, costing at Php249 per month. Like the mobile-only plan, this option grants users an access to Netflix’s wide selection of movies and TV series that are subject to change from time to time.
Furthermore, the basic plan is also just good for a single active user only at any given time. However, what made this subscription choice differ from its mobile-only counterpart is that streaming works in all available platforms, namely mobile, computer, and TV.
Netflix Standard Plan
At Php399 per month, the Netflix Standard Subscription Plan is a little too stiff for an individual consumption. However, given how this choice allows for an additional person to stream simultaneously with another person—meaning, two can use the same account at the same time—this option is, obviously, aimed for a pair of customers who essentially share an account and split the cost.
Similar to the basic plan, the standard subscription works on all platforms, but with the added perk of being able to stream shows in high definition, a feature which was significantly absent in both mobile-only and basic plans. What this unique feature meant is that standard users are able to view their shows in greater visual fidelity than those in cheaper subscription plans.
Netflix Premium Plan
Then, there is the most expensive of all available plans, which is the Netflix Premium Plan. At Php549 per month, the premium plan is also relatively heavy on the pocket for an individual user. However, granted that this particular plan allows for up to four simultaneous users of the same account at the same time, this is a plan that is, conspicuously, targeted at people in small groups.
This could be any group of people, whether comprised of family members, among relatives, friends, or even co-workers. For a people of four who pays for the premium plan collectively, that is an equivalent to each and everyone in the group of paying only Php137.25 per month.
Being at the highest tier of all choices of plans, the premium plan is made to be the perkiest of them all. Not only does this specific plan has all the benefits that comes with the standard plan—and, therefore, of everything the cheaper plans have to offer as well—it also offers an exclusive feature that cannot be found in the cheaper options: it offers Ultra High Definition (4K) quality streaming.
For individual whose biggest screen is only capable of 1080p display (or even lower), the Ultra High Definition may not seem to be a big deal since their screen is incapable of tapping to its potential which is aimed at 4K display resolution screens.
However, for those individuals whose TV at home is indeed large and sharp enough to be UHD-compliant, the said feature is indeed a major thing. After all, there is an obvious difference between a media that is streaming at an upscaled version on a huge screen and another that is streaming at a resolution that fits the display just right. The former being somewhat a “washed-down” or “stretched” version of what is ideal, which is the latter.
Solo mobile-only or shared premium plan?
Now, you may be thinking — should I go solo and opt for a Netflix mobile-only plan instead of sharing with my friends?
Yes, that’s an option. But as I’ve said earlier, there are limitations that you need to consider. Do you need or want HD, Full HD, and UHD resolution? Then you have no choice but to get onboard the premium ship. Otherwise, you’ll be stuck with Standard Definition (SD) as it’s the only available resolution for the cheapest plan.
Is the SD quality really bad? For those who are used to higher resolutions like 4K, it is very noticeable. But if you’re mostly on your phone, the difference is not as huge.
Still, we recommend that you stick with a shared Netflix Premium Plan instead as the sharper resolution and bigger screen (through casting) support make watching movies and TV shows more enjoyable.
Which Netflix plan is the right choice for you?
It is without a doubt that the premium plan is the best among available options out there. But if you are the loner type who could not get some people to tag along to share account and split the expense among yourselves, the premium plan could be a hard choice for you. Otherwise, it truly offers the best bang for the buck, as not only it would be the least expensive, but also because it offers the maximum benefits.
However, if you are with a partner who share similar interest, the standard plan could make an ideal choice. While it may lack the Ultra HD streaming feature of the premium plan, it is, however, exclusively-made for two users to use simultaneously, which is kind of a sweet thing for couples or even friends.
Yet, if you are keen in going solo with your streaming habit, your choice between going for either the basic or mobile-only plan boils down simply to preference of which gadget to use as well as the subscription cost. You either can opt for the cheapest and be stuck with streaming using only your mobile device or choose to pay some more with the leeway of being able to stream on either desktop, laptop, and TV as well.