Netflix has announced that effective later this year it will be raising subscription prices for new customers $1.00 to $2.00. This is the first price hike Netflix has announced since the disastrous Qwikster program was announced back in 2011. A move that fostered such a vehement backlash that Netflix scrapped the move entirely.
CEO Reed Hastings expounded on the changes to come:
“Our current view is to do a one or two dollar increase, depending on the country, later this quarter for new members only. Existing members would stay at current pricing (e.g. $7.99 in the U.S.) for a generous time period.”
With the increased cost of licensing and production costs it had been long speculated that Netflix would increase prices. Especially in light of Netflix's increased focus in their own original content. While price hikes are never desirable for consumers, Netflix has built a large and loyal customer base and expects "limited impact" on their subscription numbers.
The announcement specifically focused on new subscribers, but I have no doubt that we will all be seeing increased subscription prices for our Netflix memberships, and honestly, it doesn't bother me in the least.
Accounting for inflation, the aforementioned licensing cost increases, and the fact that Netflix is giving us new seasons of House of Cards, Orange is the New Black, Hemlock Grove, a Marco Polo project and the upcoming Daredevil comic book television series I really can't complain. I fully expected it.
Personally, I am both a streaming member and on the max blu-ray mail-service (I know, I'm living in the Stone Age) as it's really the only way to access more obscure and indie films these days. So long as Netflix continues to provide good service, great shows, and a steady stream of new content, I'll stay subbed if they bump the price one dollar every several years.
Now if only I could convince HBO to sign on with Netflix...
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