Netflix Is Testing Ultra-Cheap $4 Mobile-Only Subscription Packages

In an effort to expand its footprint in emerging markets, Netflix is rolling out a $3 monthly subscription plan that is for mobile devices only. This may or may not be a permanent thing—as of right now, the ultra-cheap mobile plan is part of a wider test as Netflix looks to gain ground in the streaming space with cheaper packages.

The $3 per month plan shouldn't come as a surprise, not after Netflix CEO Reed Hastings recently indicated plans to test cheaper packages.
Netflix kicked things off in Malaysia with a new Mobile tier that joins the existing Basic, Standard, and Premium subscription options. Pricing for the four tiers is as follows:
  • Mobile: RM17 (~$4 USD)
  • Basic: RM33 (~$8 USD)
  • Standard: RM45 (~$11 USD)
  • Premium: RM51 (~$12 USD)
The converted US dollars are all rounded amounts, but the general takeaway is that the new mobile-only streaming plan is around half the cost of the next cheapest tier. Like the other tiers, users can sign up for a free month to see how they like the service before committing to making monthly payments.

As for what's included at each tier, here's a breakdown:
  • Mobile: SD content on mobile only
  • Basic: SD (one screen)
  • Standard: HD (up to two screens)
  • Premium: Ultra HD (up to four screens)
Netflix confirmed the mobile-only trial to TechCrunch and added that similar experiments are "running in a few countries," though the company did not offer up any other details. It also didn't say if the mobile-only plan might expand to other parts of the world.

A mobile-only plan could potentially be popular in the US. Consider that smartphones have gotten bigger in recent years, making it more feasible to catch a flick or TV on a handset. Watching content on the big screen is still a superior experience, but there's something to be said for the convenience of whipping out a smartphone at any place and any time.

Overall, Netflix added nearly 7 million subscribers in its most recent quarter, and now has more than 137 million subscribers globally. The company expects to add 9.4 million more by the end of the year.