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Say it ain't so, Netflix! The streaming giant is set to soon raise its prices once more, and these spikes will hit all across the board, marking Netflix's biggest price increase yet. Subscribers will almost definitely be noticing the cost uptick in the next bill cycle or two, as Netflix is alerting customers that the cost increase will take effect during the May billing cycles.
Having been first announced back in January, Netflix's new pricing rundown boasts its most expensive option lineup yet. The new guidelines state that the Standard plan, which includes two HD streams, is jumping up two whole dollars, from $10.99 to $12.99. That's the same increase employed for the Premium plan, which will rise from $13.99 to $15.99 per month to provide users with four different Ultra HD streams.
Meanwhile, this will also be the very first time that Netflix has risen the rates for its bottom-rung Basic plan, which allows for a single non-HD stream. That price is being boosted from $7.99 to $8.99. Not as big of an increase as it was for the other plans, but there are probably customers out there who thought they would never have to pay more for Netflix's Basic service.
It's worth noting that some customers have already been paying the higher total, as the price hike went into effect immediately for any new customers signing up. The millions of other customers out there whose accounts were already in place got a few extra months to pay the old fee before transitioning. Before long, though, Netflix will made darned sure that it's tapping the most money possible from its customer base.
Netflix, which is still always borrowing money by the billions to fund its healthy original series production slate, stands to see quite a windfall from the price hikes. According to Variety, some analysts are projecting that the streaming giant will take in around $1 billion of top-line revenue solely from U.S. customers paying the new fees.
U.S. subscribers number less than half of Netflix's global total, too. American streamers number something around 58.5 million, while there are roughly 139 million customers around the world. That should hopefully help Netflix get some of its financial situation sorted out, while also allowing for a few more big acquisitions. Whether that might mean adding another big TV creator to the lineup, or simply developing big projects with big stars, it's hard to tell.
Considering this is indeed Netflix's most costly price hike yet, it would stand to reason that some customers will choose to angrily cancel their subscriptions in rebellion, since that's how it usually goes. However, Netflix is as much of a daily institution in people's lives as lunch and bathing, so I'm guessing prior customer satisfaction will win out in the end to keep people invested and investing.
Netflix reportedly started testing cheaper mobile plans relatively recently in other countries, giving viewers the option to pay solely for mobile-based streaming. However, it's unclear if that kind of service would come to the U.S. or not, so no one should get too hopeful.