It’s full steam ahead at Netflix. After adding 26 million new subscribers worldwide in the first half of the 2020 pandemic, its users are going to have to pony up another dollar or two per month starting soon.
On Thursday, the company raised the prices of its standard and premium plans to $13.99 (from $12.99) and $17.99 (from $15.99) per month, about the same jump in price it took in 2019.
While that price increase might appear incidental, it could sure mean a lot to Netflix’s bottom line. Tacking on a dollar or two per month to its 73 million U.S. subscribers and an estimated 195 million worldwide is a healthy shot of black ink to the company’s bottom line.
The changes to expect
The big change for Netflix is the monthly subscription price, but there a few other items that Netflix users should take note of:
When the price will go up. So as not to be surprised when the price increase comes, current Netflix subscribers will be notified 30 days before any rate change happens. They should be ready to see the updated prices on their bill sometime in the next two months, according to a comment Netflix made to CNBC.
Basic plan changes. The basic plan holds steady at $8.99 a month, the same price Netflix rolled out in 2019.
Free trials. Will there be more free trials? Those appear to be in limbo. While Netflix continues to offer free trials outside of the U.S., it recently closed the lid on the promotion in the U.S. and began emphasizing that it lets subscribers cancel anytime at no cost.
Streaming quality. While Netflix didn’t mention any changes in quality, ConsumerAffairs reminds Apple Mac users who want to use their computers to stream Netflix 4K (reportedly when Apple’s next system software, macOS Big Sur, is released) that Netflix will only stream in 4K to Macs that have a T2 security chip.
Becoming part of the conversation
As ConsumerAffairs read the transcript for its latest earnings call, our biggest takeaway was that Netflix wants to be fundamental in the viewer’s go-to streaming services.
Netflix’ co-founder, Wilmot Reed Hastings, said the company has come to realize there are no gimmicks or techniques, but that it’s really about member satisfaction. In his words, “If we please you on a Wednesday night, you're more likely to come back on a Thursday night.”
“Primarily, what we're trying to do in our marketing is get people to talk about those things that they're watching and got to get it into the conversation … and to excite the fan base so that when they're talking about a movie, they're talking about a Netflix movie. And when they're talking about a TV show, they're talking about a Netflix TV show. And that's the thing that we're building toward every day,” added Theodore A. Sarandos, the company’s Co-CEO, Chief Content Officer & Director.