- How to Decide if Netflix Premium Is Worth It
- Should You Subscribe to Netflix’s Premium Plan?
- Netflix Premium offers 4K content, four simultaneous screens, and other perks. But these do come at a higher price.
- Consider the number of people using your account and whether you will watch 4K content before deciding on the Premium plan.
- Ensure you have a 4K device and a fast internet connection to fully utilize the benefits of the Premium plan.
With the Netflix Premium plan, you benefit from 4K content, the ability to watch on four screens simultaneously, and other perks. But it also comes with a higher price tag. In this article, we discuss whether Netflix Premium is worth the cost, and some of the things you need to consider before shelling out that extra cash.
What Is Netflix Premium?
Netflix Premium is the most expensive and feature-rich plan of the three that Netflix offers: Standard with ads, Standard, and Premium. It’s a little confusing, especially when compared to other streaming services like Apple TV+ that contain everything in a single membership.
You select a tier when you first sign up for an account, though you can always change your existing Netflix streaming plan.
This is how the Netflix plans differ:
Standard with ads
Screens you can watch on simultaneously
Devices for offline streaming
Stream quality (where available)
Netflix’s catalog is the same across all plans, apart from a few movies and shows not available on the ad-supported tier. But Premium is the only plan that offers some of it in 4K.
Netflix used to offer a Basic plan for $9.99/month, with no multi-streaming and 720p HD quality. This plan is no longer available for new members. Anyone already on the Basic plan can remain on it until they change or cancel their membership.
How to Decide if Netflix Premium Is Worth It
The main factors you need to consider when assessing the value of Netflix’s Premium plan include cost, the number of people using your account, and stream quality. Let’s discuss the questions you must ask yourself to decide whether the Premium plan is worth it for you.
1. How Many People Use Your Netflix Account?
Every Netflix account, regardless of which plan you’re on, can have up to five profiles. This allows everyone who uses the account to have their own dedicated area, with personalized recommendations, watch lists, accessibility settings, and more.
It means that if your partner loves true-crime documentaries, they can watch them to their heart’s content on their profile without it impacting your recommendations or flooding your “Continue Watching” feed.
This is not the same as how many devices you can stream Netflix on at one time; this is plan-dependent. On either Standard plan, you can stream on two devices at a time. This means that if you’re watching Netflix on your TV, your partner can also log in to the account and watch something else on their phone.
The Premium plan bumps this up to four simultaneous devices. You can also download Netflix content for offline viewing on six devices, as opposed to Standard’s two.
If you live in a busy household, the greater number of simultaneous streams and offline devices offered by Premium is essential. If you’re single or in a couple, you’ll be better served by the Standard plans.
Be aware that Netflix is cracking down on password sharing with those outside your household, introducing the ability to add extra members to your Netflix account as a result. This lets account owners invite someone outside their household to use Netflix.
This extra member has their own account and password, but they can only stream or download on one device at a time, and it’s paid for by the original account holder.
The Standard plan (though not the ad-supported version) has the option to add one extra member, while the Premium plan allows for two. Regardless of the plan, each extra account costs $7.99/month.
As such, the Premium plan is the only one that allows four simultaneous streams within a household and two additional streams for members outside the household. This will cost $38.97/month ($22.99 for the Premium plan, plus two lots of $7.99 for the extra members.)
2. Will You Watch 4K Movies and Shows?
Netflix has a wealth of 4K content which streams at 3840×2160 pixels. This means the picture contains more data and therefore looks sharper and more detailed, especially on large screens.
Not everything on Netflix is available in 4K. The exact number of shows and movies will vary per region. There’s plenty to keep you busy, but it does mean that the majority of movies and shows aren’t available in 4K resolution.
Generally, modern films, shows, and Netflix Originals stream in 4K, though it’s not guaranteed. The best way to check is to search “4K” on Netflix.
Or, when you expand a show or movie’s information, look for the 4K/Ultra HD badge. If you’re on the Standard plan, or a device that isn’t 4K-compatible, you won’t see this badge, though the content will still show via the search.
Some Netflix content supports Dolby Vision and HDR10. These are color and dynamic range enhancements that offer a more accurate picture display. Select shows and movies also support Dolby Atmos, which provides a 3D surround sound effect.
Plus, some titles have spatial audio, which gives more immersive audio and is supported on every device. All of this is only available on the Premium plan.
Consider the type of content you want to watch on Netflix to determine whether the Premium plan is worthwhile.
If you’re only interested in binging old sitcoms and classic movies, these are unlikely to stream in 4K. But if you enjoy the latest blockbusters and Netflix’s original content, you’ll be able to watch a lot in 4K.
3. Do You Have a 4K Device?
If your screen or streaming device doesn’t support 4K, you won’t be able to stream anything on Netflix in that resolution. Look at the manufacturer’s guide for your TV or monitor to see if it does.
There are plenty of great 4K streaming devices, including the Fire TV Stick 4K and the NVIDIA Shield. But your TV needs to support HDMI 2.0 and HDCP 2.2 to use these devices in 4K.
On a Windows 10/11 computer, you must use Edge or the Netflix app. On Mac, you must use Safari 11 or later. You’ll also need a supported processor and graphics card (see Netflix’s support pages for Windows and Mac for more details).
The size and quality of your screen will determine how good 4K content on Netflix looks. If the TV or monitor panel is cheap, you won’t see the full benefit. Equally, a larger 55-inch or 65-inch TV will better display the high-resolution output of 4K compared to a 40-inch TV.
Even if your TV doesn’t support 4K, you might find that it has an upscaling feature that makes HD Netflix content look good enough to not need the Premium package.
If you only ever watch Netflix on your mobile, tablet, or a small screen, you don’t need the Premium tier. It’s unlikely the device supports 4K anyway.
4. Is Your Internet Fast Enough for 4K?
Netflix recommends you have a steady internet connection with speeds of 15Mbps or higher to stream 4K content. Simply put, 4K content contains more data than HD, and therefore it requires a stronger internet connection.
The best way to check your connection speed is to visit Fast.com. This is an internet speed test run by Netflix and checks your download speed against its servers. As such, it should be indicative of the speeds you can expect when streaming Netflix shows and movies.
If you can’t reach a consistent 15Mbps, 4K content will constantly buffer, or it will stream at a low resolution. At which point, there’s no reason to pay for a Premium membership for a 4K benefit you can’t use.
1080p content requires a 5Mbps connection minimum, so consider the Standard plans if your connection isn’t up to snuff.
An important factor to note is that, when downloading content for offline viewing, Netflix only offers up to 1080p. So if you do most of your Netflix viewing offline, you won’t enjoy the Premium plan’s 4K.
Should You Subscribe to Netflix’s Premium Plan?
These benefits all come with a costly price tag: $22.99/month. Even if you want 4K content and four simultaneous streaming devices, it’s up to you whether that’s an affordable cost.
Disney+ Premium costs $13.99/month and Apple TV+ costs $9.99/month. Both of these stream in 4K, which makes Netflix’s price seem steep.
But if Netflix has the movies and shows that you want to watch, and you have a large family or circle of friends using one account, then the Premium account is a must. Just make sure you have a 4K-compatible device and a decent internet connection.