About 3 months ago, Netflix revealed a plan to hike up prices in the United States and elsewhere around the world. At the time, CEO Reed Hastings said the price would continue to increase slowly, but the subscription streaming service isn’t exactly taking its time before implementing the first of these price hikes. Effective immediately for new subscribers, the price on Netflix’s most popular plan has risen by $1 a month.
Formerly, the Standard Netflix plan, which gives buyers the ability to use Netflix on two screens at once, went for $8.99 a month (that’s not even the first pricing hike Netflix has placed on users.) Now, it’s bumping up to $9.99, although the basic non-HD plan and the high-level $11.99 plan will remain the same cost for now. Like all of Netflix’s price hikes, if you are already a Netflix subscriber, you do get a little time to adjust to the new way of doing things. Current Netflix subscribers will be grandfathered in for some time before the price hike takes effect. (Initial reports said October 2016, but others seem to only have a price guarantee until their current Netflix cycle is up.)
You can take a look at the new pricing, below.
The move comes as Netflix is beefing up its original programming lineup. A while back the company started to produce a lot more originals. To do this, Netflix had to borrow a lot of money in the process in order to produce a slew of new shows, including Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Narcos, Marco Polo, Fuller House, and many, many more. Obviously, it costs money to produce new content and while Netflix wants to build its viewership, it makes sense that eventually some of this cost would fall back on the consumer.
While $12 bucks a year in additional subscription cost is certainly not going to break the bank for most people, this is only one in what seem as if it will be an eventual slew of price hikes for the service. This has pros and cons. While many of Netflix’s originals have found large audiences, and more cash flow means more originals, the fact that Netflix is focusing on originals over older content means there are less older TV shows and movies for fans to binge-watch via the subscription service. So, depending on what you personally use Netflix for, the fact there’s less content from other sources available and more originals may not justify the price hike.
Still, Netflix’s cost is comparable to the other subscription streaming services. Amazon Prime still costs $99 a year, and Hulu recently split its service to offer a $7.99 product with commercials or an $11.99 product without ads. We’ll see how competitive those rates remain in the years to come.