Netflix confirmed to TechRadar that the streaming giant is set to raise rates on most North American customers starting as early as today (Friday, January 14, 2022).
The price hikes range from $1 to $2 across Netflix's streaming plan options.
Individual subscribers on the Basic Plan who do not get HD content will pay $9.99 a month (up from $8.99). This means the company is now a penny away from its baseline service costing double digits ($10 or more). In Canada, however, the Basic tier remains at $9.99 CAD.
A Standard Plan, one that allows two simultaneous HD streams starts at the odd number of $15.49 a month ($16.49 CAD), which is up from $13.99.
Premium, which allows for up to four screens streaming Ultra HD 4K television at once, jumps from $17.99 to $19.99 a month ($20.99 CAD).
Netflix told TechRadar, "We understand people have more entertainment choices than ever and we’re committed to delivering an even better experience for our members. We’re updating our prices so that we can continue to offer a wide variety of quality entertainment options. As always we offer a range of plans so members can pick a price that works for their budget.”
For new subscribers, these tier prices are effective immediately. Existing subscribers will see the increases in the coming weeks, after being notified via email. Put simply, your next bill should reflect the monthly increase.
This is the second time in two years Netflix has raised subscription prices.
Why is Netflix doing this?
Netflix's decision should not come as a surprise. It faces new and growing competition from Amazxin Video, Apple, and surging Disney+, which, according to Statistica, has already grown to 118M subscribers only two years after launch. Netflix is still the leader with 214M subscribers.
Staying ahead of that competition means fresh series, new movies, and original content concepts. All of that costs money - billions of it. In 2021, Netflix spent a reported $17 billion on content. It may spend far more than that this year.
That money comes, in part, from subscription fees. Now those fees are going up to support Netflix in its quest to stay number one.
What can U.S. consumers do to manage costs? They can level down from, say, Premium to Standard, or if they watch all of their Netflix on a tiny smartphone screen, even consider the $9.99 no HD plan.
The other option is switching to Disney+, which costs just $7.99 a month, or AppleTV, a budget-friendly $4.99 a month. Just remember, those streaming platforms do not have The Witcher, Stanger things, or most of the Disney, Marvel, and Star War franchise films.