Brits will soon pay more for their Netflix binges as the streaming giant hikes monthly bills to support investment in its “catalogue…. and the creative industry.”
Netflix's Basic plan, which doesn’t support HD streaming and limits viewers to one screen at a time, is increasing in price for the first time in a decade, from £5.99 per month to £6.99/month.
Meanwhile, the Standard subscription, with HD streaming and two simultaneous screens, will rise in price £9.99/month to £10.99/month.
The Premium plan, with four screens and UltraHD (4K) streaming, will now cost £15.99/month, up from £13.99/month.
The prices increases have already taken effect for new customers. Existing customers will be notified by email 30 days in advance of their bills increasing.
The $176 billion startup said higher subscription costs will allow it to “continue investing in best in class UK productions” and “offer a wide variety of curated quality shows and films.”
A spokesperson for the company said: “We have always been focused on providing our members both quality and clear value for their membership.
“Our updated prices reflect the investment we have made in our service and catalogue, and will allow us to continue making the series, documentaries and films our members love as well as investing in talent and the creative industry.”
Facing new competition from Disney and Apple and millions of customers who ploughed through hundreds of hours of content during the pandemic, Netflix has been ramping up its spending on content. The Los Gatos-based company is set to spend $17 billion on content in 2022, up 25% from 2021 and up fro 57% from the $10.8 billion it spent in 2020.
While the startup is set to break even, or even turn a profit, for the first time this year, there are signs we might have reached peak Netflix. The company admitted in January that it expects to sign up the lowest number of new subscribers in the first quarter in more than a decade. The announcement spooked investors and sent shares skidding by nearly 20%.
But Netflix remains the most popular paid streaming service in the UK, with an estimated 14 million subscribers (and many more viewers piggybacking on their accounts). In comparison, Amazon Prime has 12.3 million subscribers and Disney + is in 4.7 million homes.
While the price hikes don’t amount to much—most Netflix customers will pay just £12 more per year—they follow steep increases in the cost of broadband and mobile services. This will increase the monthly burden of telecoms services for millions of households also facing rising energy bills, higher grocery costs, and inflation across the economy.
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