Netflix on Thursday announced some bad news for customers in the U.S.: The streaming service is raising the price of two of its plans. The Standard plan now costs $14 a month, up from $13 a month. Meanwhile, the Premium plan is also getting a price hike to $18 a month, which is a $2 increase from its previous price.
It’s been almost two years since Netflix last increased subscription prices, but with so much new content to indulge in, including the recent release of Enola Holmes, Hubie Halloween, and The Witches, it was always a matter of if, not when, a price hike occurred. Netflix’s most basic plan, which doesn’t offer HD streaming, will remain at $9 a month.
There are more streaming options than ever today in the U.S., with competition from HBO Max, Disney Plus, Hulu, Apple TV Plus, and most recently Peacock. More competition means more options for viewers, but it also means attention is being split, so services are spending more on creating new content. Netflix reportedly spent $18.5 billion on developing original content in 2020, according to Bloomberg. Unfortunately, that cost is being passed down to subscribers.
It’s interesting to see a price hike right before the holidays when many people are expected to be inside watching TV. Add in the uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic, and more people than ever are relying on services like Netflix for entertainment, which could mean they’ll be less likely to cancel right now despite an increase in price. The last price increase came in January 2019, right after the holidays.
Netflix’s standard price includes two simultaneous streams, two phones or tablets you can have downloads on, and unlimited access to HD movies and TV shows. For what it’s worth, some huge TV shows have recently left the platform, including Friends and That 70s Show. The Office is also set to leave Netflix after the New Year.