NEW YORK: Netflix said that it’s raising the prices of its US-based streaming plans – a move that could disappoint some fans even as it helps support the costly original programming that’s made the service so popular in recent years.
The cost of the streaming video giant’s basic plan, at $8 a month, will remain unchanged. But its standard plan will now cost $11 a month, up from $10, and the premium tier will rise from $12 a month to $14. The prices are already in effect for new sign-ups and will be rolling out to existing customers later this month, Netflix said.
“From time to time, Netflix plans and pricing are adjusted as we add more exclusive TV shows and movies, introduce new product features and improve the overall Netflix experience,” the company said in a statement.
But beyond its immediate impact on subscribers, the price hike foreshadows a future in which the streaming video market is dominated by a handful of players that have captured the majority of a family’s limited entertainment budget.
The streaming video market is ripe with competition. Companies like Apple and Viacom appear poised to enter the ring with their own Internet-based television programming, and advances in video quality – such as high dynamic range and 4K Ultra High Definition – are taking the viewer experience to new levels. Meanwhile, companies keep adding features and original video; Netflix is likely to spend $6 billion this year on content costs.