Netflix is trialing an inexpensive mobile-only subscription to widen its appeal

Following last year’s price hike for US customers, the video-streaming firm is now trialing a new cut-price, mobile-only subscription option which costs half as much as the Basic tier.

Currently being tested in Malaysia and elsewhere, the new plan limits your consumption of TV shows and movies on the service to SD quality and mobile devices such as an iPhone or and iPad. Attempting to watch something on a computer or television yields a message saying you should upgrade from the mobile-only plan.

Customers in Malaysia can sign up for the new plan with a monthly price of RM17, or about $4.


Netflix’s current pricing scheme in the US is as follows:

  • Basic: $7.99 per month, one screen, SD-only
  • Standard: $10.99 per month, two simultaneous screens, HD quality
  • Premium: $13.99 per month, four simultaneous screens, HD and 4K content

A Netflix spokesperson has confirmed the Malaysia trial to TechCrunch, adding that similar trials are “running in a few countries” although the company declined to provide details. Competing services from HOOQ and Viu start at $3 to $5 per month.

People in the Asia-Pacific region primarily use their smartphones so Netflix’s move makes perfect sense although it remains to be seen if the new Mobile tier will expand globally.

For what it’s worth, Netflix CEO Red Hastings told Bloomberg earlier this week that they’re planning to test multiple lower-price plans throughout Asia.

Netflix has unveiled 17 new shows from five Asian countries and is currently developing 100+ film and TV projects across India, Korea, Japan, Thailand and Taiwan. The company even set up a local headquarters in Singapore and is now looking to hire in Seoul, Tokyo and Mumbai.