Netflix recently revealed plans to raise the prices of its streaming subscriptions, marking the service’s second price hike in less than a year. While the changes will initially only impact the United States and Canada, global markets are likely next.
Specific details remain unconfirmed, but based on 2022’s increases, Netflix’s Standard plan may rise to $16.99 per month, while the Premium tier could exceed $22. This would make Netflix one of the most expensive streaming options available.
The timing of the price adjustments is notable given Netflix’s recent introduction of an ad-supported plan in November 2022 for $6.99 per month. By keeping this entry-level tier steady while increasing higher-priced offerings, Netflix may be hoping to incentivize upgrades. However, budget-focused subscribers may instead opt for cheaper competitors like Disney+ and HBO Max.
Netflix likely views the increases as necessary given its massive investments in original content and recent subscriber losses. However, continuously raising costs could risk alienating loyal customers, especially as rival services rapidly expand their catalogs.
While Netflix remains the dominant streamer, its stratospheric rise has inspired intense competition. Deep-pocketed rivals like Apple and Amazon can leverage streaming to complement their diverse business models, potentially absorbing costs Netflix cannot.
With entertainment budgets shrinking for many households amid inflation and economic uncertainty, Netflix’s timing for another round of hikes is questionable. Subscribers may reevaluate their priorities and trim superfluous streaming expenses.
Rather than yearly price increases, Netflix may need to focus on delivering must-have programming that justifies premium costs. Great content will always find an audience. However, testing the bounds of affordability during challenging times may do more harm than good.