Netflix subscribers in the US will soon be made to pay more as the video streaming platform announces price hikes across all its plans.
Instead of the $14 per month it has been charging for the standard plan, subscribers will now have to pay $15.5. The 4K plan has jumped to $20 from $18, while folks paying $9 for the basic plan without HD will now pay $9. This means the most increase is $2.
Netflix says the price changes will go into effect immediately for new subscribers. Existing subscribers will be gradually moved to the new price regime. They will get notifications through email 30 days before the new prices take effect.
Subscription prices have nearly doubled for the standard plan, which Netflix started the business with. The plan cost $7.99 from 2011 to 2014, when Netflix increased it to $8.99. However, Netflix allowed existing customers to retain their plans for two years for fear of losing them. But that did not stop the company from adding a dollar to the cost a year later. The last time Netflix increased the cost of the plan was in 2020 when it became $13.99.
Netflix introduced the Premium plan with 4K in 2013 at $11.99. Four increases later, the premium plan now goes for $19.99 per month. The other plan offered by Netflix is Basic, which was introduced in 2014. It cost $7.99, lacked HD, and could only be watched on one screen at a time. While other plans have nearly doubled, the Basic plan has only added $2, including the latest hike.
Netflix has become entrenched and is now a cultural phenomenon, inspiring memes, and jokes, especially within romantic or sexual contexts. It has a customer base in the millions, so much that it is finding it challenging to add subscribers because about everyone who could get an account has done so already.
The only practical way Netflix can increase its revenue is by raising prices or expanding overseas. Speaking of expansion, Netflix has little choice but to do so because competition in its home market is heating up. The entrants of streaming platforms like Disney Plus and HBO Max with extensive content to offer has given subscribers more options. Netflix is going all out to maintain its lead by producing high-quality content.
However, the platform is able to weather any hemorrhage of users due to the price hike because of its extensive customer base.
The US is not the only country where Netflix is increasing prices. Subscribers in Canada are also going to be paying more to stream videos. The Basic, Standard, and Premium plans now cost 9.99 CAD, 16.47 CAD, and 20.99 CAD, respectively.
US and Canada are the most significant markets for Netflix, with combined 74 million subscribers as of last September, representing about 44 percent of its revenue globally in the third quarter of 2021. The pandemic had helped Netflix boost its subscriber base. It also got some help from the global hit Squid Game, bringing its total to 213.6 million.
Commenting on the price hikes, a Netflix spokesman said, “We understand people have more entertainment choices than ever, and we’re committed to delivering an even better experience for our members. We’re updating our prices so that we can continue to offer a wide variety of quality entertainment options. As always, we offer a range of plans so members can pick a price that works for their budget.”
Other streaming platforms are resorting to hiking prices to increase revenue as well. Hulu had its own last October, although not all its services were affected. The ad-supported and ad-free tiers increased by $1 to $6.99 and $12.99 per month, respectively. The live TV service remains unchanged.