Since the start of the pandemic, steaming videos at home has become increasingly popular. If you’re a Netflix subscriber, the cost of streaming is going up.
Netflix has announced a price increase for all packages in the U.S., the sixth since 2014. The price hikes will be phased in over the next few weeks for existing subscribers, but they are going into effect immediately for new customers.
The basic plan, which allows for viewing on one device at a time, is going up by $1 to $9.99 a month. The standard plan, which provides HD streaming on two devices at once, is going up from $13.99 per month to $15.49.
The premium plan, which gives subscribers the capability to view in 4K quality is also going up by $2 a month, pushing the price to $19.99 – on par with some premium cable channels.
Michael, of Arcadia, Calif., may balk at the increase. In a ConsumerAffairs review of Netflix last month, Michael said he had the basic plan, not realizing he would be required to pay more to steam in 4K
“I Googled it today and found out that because we're on the basic plan we only get the SD (standard definition) quality I mentioned above,” Michael wrote in the review. “If we want better-looking movies on our TV then we have to pay for it by upgrading to Standard for full HD (1080p) for $13.99 or Premium for 4k quality for the cost of $17.99.”
Of course, those charges were in effect last month. Now it’s $2 a month more.
“I never heard of such a thing and we're not willing to pay more to get the high quality we should be getting,” Michael concluded.
Investing in content
Netflix says the higher prices are necessary to pay for its investment in programming. In a statement to Deadline, Netflix said the company realizes that consumers have lots of viewing options and that it must compete on quality, not just price.
“We’re updating our prices so that we can continue to offer a wide variety of quality entertainment options,” a company spokesman said. “As always we offer a range of plans so members can pick a price that works for their budget.”