Netflix has raised its monthly subscription price by US$1-$2/month in the US depending on the plan to help pay for new programming to compete in the crowded streaming TV market.
The standard plan, which allows for two simultaneous streams, now costs $15.49/month, up from $13.99, in the US. Prices also rose in Canada, where the standard plan climbed to C$16.49 from C$14.99.
The increases, the first in those markets since October 2020, took effect immediately for new customers. Existing members will see the new prices in the coming weeks when they receive their monthly bills.
“We understand people have more entertainment choices than ever and we’re committed to delivering an even better experience for our members,” a Netflix spokesman said. “We’re updating our prices so that we can continue to offer a wide variety of quality entertainment options.”
The world’s largest streaming service is facing the most competition ever from companies looking to attract viewers to online entertainment. Walt Disney Co, AT&T’s WarnerMedia, Amazon.com and Apple are among the rivals pouring billions into new programming.
Netflix has added customers despite prior price increases, which shows its members have been willing to accept higher costs, Evercore ISI analyst Mark Mahaney said. “This is evidence that Netflix has pricing power.”
Netflix had said it would spend $17-billion on programming in 2021. The company has not disclosed spending for 2022.
The US price of Netflix’s premium plan, which enables four streams at a time and streaming in ultra HD, was increased by $2 to $19.99.month (R307/month). For Netflix’s basic plan, with one stream, the cost rose by $1 to $9.99/month.
At $15.49 per month, the standard U.S. plan from Netflix now costs more than competitors. HBO Max, owned by AT&T, is currently offering an $11.99/month promotion for 12 months. The price of Disney+ is $7.99/month or $79.99/year.
The US and Canada is Netflix’s largest region with 74 million streaming customers as of September 2021. The region accounted for nearly 44% of the company’s revenue in 2021’s third quarter, or about $3.3-billion.
Most of the company’s recent pickup in subscribers has come from overseas.
Netflix’s subscriber growth slowed from a boom early in the Covid-19 pandemic but rebounded with help from global phenomenon Squid Game, a dystopian thriller from South Korea released in September. Total global subscriptions reached 213.6 million.
The company’s next subscriber report is due on Thursday when it posts quarterly earnings. — Lisa Richwine, with Dawn Chmielewski, (c) 2022 Reuters