Netflix announced tonight that it is increasing the prices of all its subscription levels from $1 to $2 one month. It’s been about a year and a half since the streamer’s last price hike, which came in October 2020.
The increases, which will be “rolled in” to existing subscribers in the coming months, as part of the company’s ongoing efforts not to be criticized every time they do this, break down like this: Premium subscribers, who currently pay $18 per month for 4K content and 4 screens at a time, it will be reduced to $20 per month. Standard plan members (HD content, 2 screens) will go up one dollar fifty, from $14 to $15.50. And basic members, who don’t get HD content, will now pay $10 a month for the privilege..
The price increases come at an undeniably strange time for the service, which is simultaneously hitting the highest level ever, while also facing stiffer competition than ever. For one thing, Netflix’s subscriber base is as good as it could be right now., with the service currently supporting more than 200 million subscribers worldwide and 74 million in the US and Canada—Where are these latest price increases headed?
The problem is that Netflix’s subscriber base is also, good, as high as can be conceivable at this time; when it’s already installed in the homes of basically every Internet-enabled home by a decent portion of the planet, it is difficult to achieve that pesky “growth” that shareholders crave. Therefore, in part, the price hikes, which put Netflix on par with (or slightly above, for Premium) HBO Max, which has generally been the most expensive plan in the game at $15 per month. (For comparison, Disney+ stays at $8 a month, Paramount+ stays at $10 a month, Apple TV+ is $5, and Hulu just raised its own prices to $13 a month last year.) (That’s for the ad-free versions of the services, to be clear.)
And the sheer length of the parentheses above demonstrates the other problem Netflix is currently facing: there is a lot of other companies here at this time trying to host your lunch. TOand while his multi-year lead begins in the broadcast wars is obviously a blessing, the company You still need to keep pouring as much money as you can into original content to keep subscribers happy. (Especially since studios once eager to license their shows to the broadcaster for quick releaselife buffs are now much more reluctant to feed a rival the content they need).
The result of all that being: Expect that small monthly bill to come down a bit in the coming months.
[via The Verge]