The following is a review of Netflix based on my personal experience as a long-time subscriber who recently cancelled my subscription and now subscribe from time-to-time when there are a season or two of my favourite shows available to binge.
How much does Netflix cost in Canada?
Netflix has 4 different plans for Canadians:
|Plan||Price||Ads||Simultaneous screens||Video quality||Offline watching|
|Basic with ads||$5.99||Yes||1||720p||No|
The Basic with ads plan is $5.99 per month and allows you to watch 1 screen at a time in 720p (HD).
The Basic plan is $9.99 and is the same, but with no ads.
The Standard plan is $16.49 per month and allows you to watch 2 screens at the same time in 1080p (full HD – FHD).
The Premium plan is $20.99 per month and allows you to watch on 4 devices at the same time in 4K (UHD).
Every plan is paid for monthly and can be cancelled at any time. Netflix does not offer an annual payment option. Cancelling with time left on your billing period will allow you to watch until the end of the billing period and does not result in a refund.
Basic ad-supported plan
Basic with ads plan includes an average of 4 to 5 minutes of ads per hour which play in 15 or 30 seconds increments before and during shows and films.
5% to 10% of their titles aren’t available due to licensing restrictions – indicated by a lock symbol in the top right corner of the listing – which they say they’re working on resolving. A few titles include:
- The Walking Dead
- Brooklyn Nine-Nine
- Schitts Creek
- Arrested Development
- House of Cards
- John Wick
Netflix price history
- November 2022 – Netflix started offering a $5.99 ad-supported plan.
- January 2022 – Standard plan increased to $16.49 and Premium to $20.99.
- July 2021 – Netflix started charging GST or HST, in line with changes to digital economy taxation
- October 2020 – Standard plan increased to $14.99 and Premium to $18.99.
- November 2018 – Standard plan increased $1 to $9.99, Standard $3 to $13.99 and Premium $3 to $16.99.
To put the cost into perspective, Netflix charges $197.88 a year for its Standard plan which allows 2 screens at 1080p quality and offline viewing, while an annual subscription to Prime Video (part of Amazon Prime) is $100 and their streaming catalog is only one of the available benefits.
If you prefer watching the latest and most buzzworthy shows and movies that are not from the Marvel, Disney or Star Wars franchises, are interested in constantly checking out something new, or are a huge fan of multiple Netflix Originals, then the streaming platform is for you.
Netflix is still the king of streaming based on subscriber counts, but as they lose subscribers for the first time in a decade, look towards prioritizing revenue and profit maximization over subscriber growth for investors, clamp down on password sharing (announcing, then removing it – likely a trial balloon strategy) and VPN use, and a content library that is becoming increasingly exclusive, the value that many of customers are receiving will continue to diminish.
On top of that, with only a handful or so of globally recognized IPs currently in production, and assuming the eventual loss of rights to bingeworthy series like The Office, this will lead many customers to question whether or not they need Netflix alongside other streaming services.
For me, since they don’t offer an annual plan that provides a discount from the monthly price, I find it best to cancel my subscription until there are a couple of new seasons of my favorite shows available to watch while using Prime Video and Disney+ in the interim.
A Netflix subscription is worth it if:
- You like always having fresh content available, or are not that picky
- You want a large catalog of titles to choose from
- You always have something playing the background
- You’re not that interested in jedi, superheroes or animated feature films
A Netflix subscription is probably NOT worth it if:
- You’re only interested in 1 or 2 of their best series
- You’ are’re looking for a budget-friendly streaming service
- You’re tired of shows getting cancelled after a season or two
- You want the service with the most family-friendly content
- Many popular and award-winning originals
- Some rewatchable classics (eg. The Office)
- Large, fast-growing content library
- Willing to produce new and unique IPs
- Pricey for streaming quality and screens
- Many shows get cancelled quickly
- Quite a bit of filler content
- Cracking down on password sharing and VPN use
|Price||Standard plan is $16.49 per month and provides 2 screens and 1080p resolution|
|TV shows in Canada||2,228|
|Movies in Canada||4,392|
Downloading content for offline viewing
You can download content (including entire seasons of shows) for offline viewing using their app for iOS, Android, or on Mac, Chromebook or Windows computers with every plan except the basic ad-supported plan.
Simply click the download button next to the to the show or movie you want to download. Most, but not all of of Netflix’s library is accessible offline due to licensing issues.
You can set up multiple user profiles so each user can save titles to their own My List watchlist and get recommendations tailored to their tastes based on their watch history and what they’ve liked and disliked. A special kids profile allows you to set parental controls such as a maturity rating limit, blocking specific titles and locking admin controls.
Netflix is available on almost every device capable of playing videos:
- Phones: Android, iOS, Windows
- Media players: Apple TV, Chromecast, Portal, Fire TV, Nvidia Shield, Roku, LG
- Smart TVs: Hisense, LG, Panasonic, Samsung, Toshiba
- Game Consoles: PS3, PS4, PS5, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S
- Set-top Boxes: Bell, Cogeco, Telus
- Blu-ray Players: LG, Panasonic, Samsung, Sharp, Toshiba
- PCs and laptops
While most streaming services are available on these same devices, Netflix
- Save titles to your My List watchlist
- Thumbs up (liked), double thumbs up (loved) and thumbs down (not for me) to refine your preferences
- Transfer a profile to another membership account allows you to keep personalized recommendations, viewing history, My List and other settings
- Closed captions or subtitles
- Adjust playback speed
- Audio descriptions are available on many titles
- Skip Intro button
- Auto-plays episodes so you can binge-watch
- Use Play Something and Netflix will choose a title for you
What is Netflix?
Founded in 1997 as DVDs-by-mail video rental service, Netflix is a video streaming service that offers a library of licensed shows and movies as well as its self-produced Netflix Originals including Stranger Things, Squid Game and Glass Onion. Its biggest competitors in Canada are Disney+, Prime Video and Crave.
It is the most popular service in the world, with over 223 million subscribers globally as of Q3 2022 and roughly 7.3 million in Canada (based on 73.3 million in the US and Canada combined and the 10% share Canada had reported in 2019).
Netflix was first made available in Canada in September 2010.
How much content does Netflix have?
According to JustWatch, Netflix Canada has 2,334 TV shows and 4,327 movies for a total of 6661 titles. Netflix has produced around 3,100 Netflix Originals, which makes up just under half of their catalog.
|Year||Content spend (billions $)|
Most popular TV shows on Netflix
Netflix has rights to some of the most rewatchable and bingeworthy series, including:
- The Office (available until January 1st, 2025)
- Breaking Bad
- Star Trek The Next Generation
- Arrested Development
- Schitts Creek
- Death Note
- One Piece
- One Punch Man
The most popular shows in Canada this week are reported in Netflix’s top 10.
As they produce more of their own content and their streaming competitors claw back the content they had licensed to Netflix to put it on their own platforms, Netflix Originals account for an increasing portion of their catalog, hitting 50% in 2022.
- Black Mirror (2011)
- House of Cards (2013)
- Orange is the New Black (2013)
- Peaky Blinders (2013)
- Bojack Horseman (2014)
- Stranger Things (2016)
- The Crown (2016)
- Money Heist (2017)
- Ozark (2017)
- You (2018)
- The Witcher (2019)
- Sex Education (2019)
- Bridgerton (2020)
- The Queen’s Gambit (2020)
- Arcane (2021)
- Squid Game (2021)
- Wednesday (2022)
Cancelled TV shows
Netflix has developed a reputation for cancelling shows after only 1 or 2 seasons, even ones that were promising, well-reviewed or popular. Cancelled shows are often left with endings that are unsatisfying or on a cliffhanger, which can be frustrating for fans of these series and their characters who were looking forward to their continuation or a proper conclusion. I find myself less and less interested in getting invested in a new Netflix show as it seems increasingly likely that it’ll just be cancelled without tying up lose ends.
- Marco Polo
- Jessica Jones
- The Punisher
- Altered Carbon
- The list goes on
Most popular movies on Netflix
- The Shawshank Redemption
- The Big Short
- The Lego Movie
- The Imitation Game
- Edge of Tomorrow
- Ocean’s Eleven
- Django Unchained
- Red Notice
- Don’t Look Up
- Bird Box
- Glass Onion
- The Gray Man
- The Adam Project
- All Quiet on the Western Front
The most popular movies in Canada this week are reported in Netflix’s top 10.
Prime Video in Canada has a catalog of over 8,500 titles – 7,000 movies and 1,500+ shows – according to JustWatch that you can watch on up to 3 devices at the same time in up to 1080p (4k is not yet available) on your smart TV, mobile phone, or tablet or any device that supports Chromecast. While technically ad free, they occasionally show 30 second, skippable promos for their own shows when you click play on a title.
Disney+ in Canada has a library of over 2,500 titles – 1,800 movies and 780+ shows that you can watch in 1080p – the majority of which are available in up to 4K – on 4 screens, ad-free. Their content consists of their existing and newly produced titles from the Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars, National Geographic, Star, 20th Century Studios and Hulu catalogs.
Crave is a Canadian service owned by Bell Media that has a smaller catalog of around 1,500 titles – 820 movies and around 650 shows that includes Originals from Crave, HBO, HBO Max, Showtime and the entire HBO library, but still boasts over 3 million subscribers. With the Crave Total plan you can watch, ad-free, on up to 4 screens at once in 1080p.
Frequently Asked Questions
How to watch Netflix content from another country with a VPN?
A VPN service such as NordVPN and ExpressVPN changes your IP address (your web browsing is routed through a server the VPN service operates in that country), to make it appear streaming services like Netflix as if they are located in another country and by doing so, get access to the library the service has in that country – typically the US, UK, Japan and South Korea.
Netflix cracked down on VPN use in 2021 by blacklisting many of the IP addresses used by VPN services. They were easily discovered because they are shared by many users of the VPN.
When Netflix detects the use of a VPN, it either displays a Streaming Error screen or limits the content available to its own Netflix Originals and titles licensed internationally from Netflix.
Watching content on Netflix’s that’s available in another still works, but is not as reliable as in the past. To do so, you need a VPN that hasn’t had all of its IP addresses blocked by Netflix and is actively working to keep the functionality alive for its customers.
Due to licensing agreements and broadcast rights with other media companies, the selection of shows and movies on Netflix that are not owned by Netflix varies from country to country.
The most popular VPN companies do their best to keep their customers connected to Netflix as content unblocking is a major selling point and use case for their customers. It’s a continuous game, with adversaries constantly trying to outmaneuver each other and stay one step ahead.
While this is legal and isn’t the same as downloading copyrighted content illegally without paying for it, it is against Netflix’s terms of service (which nobody reads). It could also affect how the creators get compensated for their work. We encourage you to vote with your wallet and support the content you enjoy.
How much data does Netflix use?
Netflix has 4 quality settings ranging from 0.3 GB to 7 GB of data per hour.
|Quality||Data per hour||Recommended internet speed|
|Low||0.3 GB||0.7 Mbps|
|Medium||0.7 GB||1.1 Mbps|
|High||Standard (720p): Up to 1 GB|
High (1080p): Up to 3 GB
Ultra high (4K): Up to 7 GB
|Auto||Adjusts to deliver the best quality based on your current internet speed|
Can I share my account?
Yes, you can currently share your Netflix subscription by giving your login information to another person. The practice has always been against the company’s terms of service, but the company plans to start enforcing it by introducing a paywall on password sharing in 2023.
According to a Netflix shareholder letter, their over 200 million customers are sharing their accounts with over 100 million non-paying customers, 30 million of which are in the US and Canada.
The platform has already tested this as a $3 add-on in Peru, Chile and Costa Rica, but it’s possible they simply force people to sign up for a second account at a lower price.
Does Netflix offer a free trial?
No, Netflix does not offer a free trial in Canada. They previously offered a 30 day free trial, but ended it in October 2020.
How to sign up for Netflix?
- Go to their website, iOS app or Android app.
- Enter your email address and click Get Started
- Enter a password for your account
- Select which plan you want. The Premium plan is selected by default, you have to click the column of the plan you want. The Basic plan is hidden by default, you have to click the small See all plans link at the bottom for it to become an option.
- Click Next
- Select your payment method. They accept Credit, Debit and Netflix gift cards.
- Enter your payment details and click Start Membership.
How to cancel Netflix?
You can cancel your monthly subscription at any time.
To cancel, visit their Cancel Plan page and click Cancel Membership then click Finish Cancellation.
- Open the Settings app on your iPhone or iPad and tap your name at the top of the page.
- In the Apple ID menu that opens, tap Subscriptions.
- Select Netflix from the list that appears, and then select Cancel Subscription. Confirm your choice.
- Open the Play Store app on your device and tap the profile icon in the top-right corner.
- Tap Payments & subscriptions, and then Subscriptions.
- Select Netflix from your list of subscriptions, then select the Cancel Subscription option. Confirm your choice.
To contact Netflix customer support:
- Phone: 1-844-542-4813
Or use the live chat available on their Help Center or mobile apps.
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