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Netflix Testing Out Pricier New ‘Ultra’ Plan at $16.99 per Month

Trial aimed at gauging price sensitivity to Ultra HD and HDR features

Netflix is kicking the tires on a new high-end streaming plan — dubbed “Ultra” — to see whether consumers are willing to pay more for four Ultra HD streams or content in HDR format.

The Ultra plans cost $16.99 per month and is being tested in two versions. One offers four Ultra HD streams, while the existing $13.99 Premium plan would drop from four to two UHD streams. In the second offer, both Premium and Ultra customers would have access to four concurrent Ultra HD streams but only Ultra customers would have access to high dynamic range (HDR) content, which provides more vibrant color reproduction and higher contrast.

The new test offers were first reported by Italian tech blog TuttoAndroid.net. According to Cordcutting.com, Netflix is testing two different price points for Ultra: The company’s German site showed different prices (€16.99 and €19.99) depending on the user’s browser.

Netflix first introduced the four-stream “family plan” in 2013, as a premium alternative to the standard HD plan that provides access to two concurrent streams per account. A year later, it modified the packages so that Ultra HD content was available only in the higher-priced tier. Now Netflix is looking to see how much consumers value HDR versus four-stream access.

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Netflix has confirmed the Ultra tests, and says only a subset of customers will be shown the higher-priced options. In addition, as with any of the company’s trial program, Netflix may not decide to more widely roll out the Ultra tier.

Netflix most recently raised prices in the fourth quarter of 2017. It hiked the two-stream HD tier to $10.99 per month (up from the previous $9.99) and the Premium plan from $11.99 to $13.99 per month. The single-stream, non-HD Basic plan remained unchanged at $7.99.

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