Sorry, Netflix U.S. Users, Subscriptions Are Getting Another Price Hike

Sorry, Netflix U.S. Users, Subscriptions Are Getting Another Price Hike
Photo: Pascal Le Segretain

If it wasn’t enough that Netflix continues to push the eject button on a number of beloved and by all accounts popular series on its platform, the service is now raising its monthly subscription costs in the U.S.

While Netflix’s entry-level tier will remain $US9 ($13), both the standard and premium tiers are being hit by the change. The Standard plan will jump from $US13 ($19) per month to $US14 ($20) per month, and the Premium tier will jump to $US18 ($26) from just $US16 ($23). Netflix confirmed to CNBC that the changes will be reflected in existing customers’ bills over the next two months. A price hike had been speculated in recent months, and the company recently ended its free trial offer. It also recently raised its prices in Canada.

The pandemic has been a boon for streaming services — well, most of them, anyway — during a time when people are spending more time at home than they might in more normal times. Netflix, in particular, has seen its numbers balloon amid lockdown orders and social distancing measures. The service has in recent years shifted its focus to greenlighting originals with abandon, which means more exclusive content that can only be found on Netflix. That in turn creates value, which Netflix COO Greg Peters has said justifies cost increases to subscribers.

But frustratingly for some viewers, the service has also repeatedly cancelled a number of fan-favourite series that may have justified the ever-increasing price of their Netflix subscription. The OA, Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance, Luke Cage, The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, Altered Carbon, and Tuca & Bertie are among the list of popular originals that evidently failed to clear whatever metric for success Netflix has established to determine whether or not to continue bankrolling originals.

At least with respect to its multi-screen subscription tiers, Netflix is inching nearer and nearer to the dreaded $US20 ($29) per month subscription cost — which would far exceed prices currently offered by rival services like HBO Max, Apple TV+, and even Disney+. At what point do we stop paying for an obscenely priced service that keeps cancelling all of its best series? Beyond getting a frequent and unlimited number of new Unsolved Mysteries seasons, no thanks, Netflix.