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Netflix raises streaming prices by $1, but current members don't have to pay it (for now)

Netflix warned the world that its prices would be going up, and Friday, the company began emailing subscribers with details of its plans.

The price of a streaming subscription is rising by $1, to $8.99 per month—still a steal for the unlimited viewing Netflix provides. New members around the world will see similar price hikes, according to the Associated Press, and CNET says that subscribers in Britain and Europe are already being notified of similar £1 and €1 respective price hikes, to £6.99 and €8.99.

Now for the good news: In the shareholder letter that foretold the price hike, Netflix said existing members would "stay at current pricing (e.g. $7.99 in the U.S.) for a generous time period," and the company's staying true to its word. If you're already a Netflix subscriber, you'll be grandfathered in at the current rate for a full two years, saving you $24 on the cost of binge-watching Dexter and House of Cards through May 2016.

Raising prices means more shows like House of Cards, and more House of Cards makes Kevin Spacey smile.

This is the first price increase since Netflix split DVD and streaming subscriptions in two in 2011. "These changes will enable us to acquire more content and deliver an even better streaming experience," the company's shareholder letter said. Creating top-notch original shows and striking pay-for-speed deals with Internet providers doesn't come cheap, and Amazon's already managed to swoop in and snag pricey deals for Dora, Spongebob, Blue's Clues, and a slew of HBO content for its Amazon Prime streaming service—preventing those shows from gracing Netflix's Instant queues. 

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