When you’re facing stiff competition from content makers with deep pockets and established franchises, you don’t go and charge people more for your service. Still, that’s exactly what Netflix says it’ll begin doing effective immediately.
The Washington Post reports that Netflix’s rates for new subscribers in the United States, Latin America and the Caribbean are going up today. Existing subscribers will get hit with the pricing increases in three months.
A basic plan will now cost $8.99 instead of $7.99, and a standard HD plan that allows you to stream to two devices at the same time costs $10.99. Of course, folks with a 4K account pay the most. Four streams and the best visuals Netflix has to offer now costs $15.99.
So, Netflix still costs less than a cable subscription. And yes, using a streaming service is still way cheaper than paying for channels you only watch when basketball or Maury aren’t on.
That being said, Netflix is slowly wading into dangerous territory with this. Notice I said “a streaming service” is still cheaper than paying for cable. There’s nothing saying that service has to be Netflix.
In fact, everyone in media is trying to monetize their library with a service, and this price hike plays right into their efforts.
Some services are cheaper and include live news and next-day access to the shows that air on TV. (I’m looking at you CBS All Access.) Other services will launch with a show line-up from enormously popular franchises. (Hello there, Disney+.)
Amazon Prime Video is a throwaway perk with Amazon Prime, and it’s the service I spend the most time in away from Netflix on Xbox One and iPad. Sure, Amazon Prime’s library isn’t as spectacular as what Netflix offers, but it’s good enough that many people may just decide to keep their $11 for most of the year and subscribe to Netflix only when there’s something they really want to watch.