In a move that was widely anticipated, Netflix announced Wednesday that it’s raising the price of its standard and premium subscription tiers in the U.S., its first such price hike in nearly two years.
The Verge is reporting that Netflix’s standard plan, which offers two simultaneous 1080p-quality video streams, will now cost $14 a month, a $1 price hike. Meanwhile, the streaming giant’s premium plan, which allows for up to four 4K streams, is now $18 a month, up from $16. The least expensive “basic” plan is still set at $9.
It’s not yet clear how the new prices will affect existing Netflix subscribers. According to The Verge’s report, the Netflix price hike will be effective immediately for new signups, while existing users will see their monthly rates go up “over the next few weeks.” Checking my own account just now, my Netflix premium subscription was still locked in at $16, although the standard plan had already ticked up to $14 a month.
The last time Netflix raised prices in the U.S. was back in January 2019. At that time, Netflix boosted its basic plan by $1 a month, to its current $9 monthly rate. It also raised its standard plan to $13, a $2-a-month hike, while its premium plan saw a $2 monthly increase to $16.
Of course, much has changed in the intervening 21 months. Besides, you know, the pandemic, the streaming video market has become far more crowded, with Disney+, Peacock, and HBOMax all muscling into the space. Since launching in November 2019, Disney+ has signed up a whopping 60 million subscribers (and that’s only as of August), a figure that’s surely gotten the attention of Netflix execs.
While Netflix subscribers probably won’t be happy about the latest price increase, Wall Street loves it. Besides, with the prospect of a long winter indoors, it’s doubtful that the price hike will cause much of a Netflix exodus.