In a move that may add to the financial burdens already faced by consumers amidst the cost of living crisis, Netflix is reportedly preparing to raise its subscription prices once again.
This isn’t the first time Netflix has increased its subscription fees. In the past year, the streaming giant hiked prices across all its subscription plans. This included raising the cost of the ad-free standard plan to $15.49 and the Premium service to $19.99. Additionally, Netflix introduced an ad-supported plan at $6.99 per month. Earlier this year, the platform also implemented measures to combat password sharing, imposing an additional $8 per month charge for users who share their accounts with individuals outside their households.
According to a report from The Wall Street Journal, Netflix is planning another price increase in the near future. This price hike is expected to affect its ad-free service in “several markets globally,” with the initial rollout anticipated in the US and Canada. However, the specific amount of the increase and the exact timing of its implementation have not been confirmed.
Netflix’s decision to delay the price hike until after the conclusion of the Hollywood Writers Guild of America strike is strategic. The strike, which began on May 2nd, has significantly disrupted the entertainment industry, impacting the production of new content. While the Writers Guild of America (WGA) has recently reached an agreement to end the strike following a settlement, Hollywood actors continue their strike, leading to ongoing production delays.
One aspect of the proposed contract between WGA and major Hollywood studios, including Netflix, is the requirement for streaming services to share streaming data with the WGA. This provision would allow writers to gain insights into the performance of their content. However, with Hollywood actors still on strike, some productions remain halted.
Netflix is likely awaiting the resolution of both strikes before proceeding with the price increase. This approach makes sense, as raising subscription costs during a content drought could lead to subscriber dissatisfaction. Once both actors and writers return to work, the influx of new shows and movies added to the platform can serve as a justification for the impending price hike.
Over the past year, the cost of major ad-free streaming services has surged by approximately 25 percent as companies seek to bolster their profits. Netflix’s decision to follow suit with a price increase has not been well-received by some users, who have expressed their opinions on social media platforms.
One individual remarked, “They gotta make better shows if they wanna do this,” while another commented, “No wonder why a lot of people use pirated websites nowadays lmao.” Another user noted, “I haven’t had Netflix in over 2 years because of the rate hikes. I’ll pass on getting it anytime soon.”
As Netflix navigates the delicate balance between increasing subscription prices and maintaining its user base, it remains to be seen how these changes will impact the streaming landscape and consumer behavior.