16 January, 2019
Binge-watching Netflix is about to get more expensive: The streaming service just increased its subscription plan prices for USA customers.
Netflix announced its biggest ever price increase since it launched its streaming service 12-years-ago. In addition, the company for the first time is hiking its Basic plan, which offers a single non-HD stream, from $7.99 to $8.99 per month (+12.5%).
In previous price increases, Netflix maintained the baseline $8/month basic plan while charging more for standard and premium, which allow streaming on multiple devices.
New Netflix users are already being charged the higher prices but existing customers will see them phased in over the next few months. If this strategy backfires it'll trigger a monumental meltdown, but thus far Wall Street is bullish on Netflix's prospects. In 2011, Netflix said it would divorce its DVD-by-mail service from its streaming one.
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"There will come a point where people will say - 'no mas!' but until they get to that point, you're going to see Netflix nickel and dime about every year or so and adjust their prices higher", Munarriz said. "Our job is to focus on, invest in providing our members incredible experiences, more great content, and great product experiences", said Chief Product Officer Greg Peters. After it took home five awards at the 2019 Golden Globes, its stock price surged over six percent and has been enjoying relatively stratospheric highs since.
As of September 2018, Netflix has amassed an approximate $8 billion long-term debt, which some think is unsustainable. Many customers chose between DVDs and streaming, while over half a million quit the service entirely. The most expensive plan, 4K Premium, will increase from $14 to $16.
2017 marked the last time Netflix imposed a hike on its subscription base. The company ended the third quarter with 137 million total subscribers (more than 130 million of those paid memberships).
Netflix last increase prices in 2017, so it's been a bit since the streaming network rolled out a price increase across the board.