None of us can live without Netflix, the most dominant streaming service in the game and one of the top destinations for entertainment, period. The problem is, the company knows we can’t live without it, which enables Netflix to keep jacking up its prices. It’s a vicious cycle.
Variety reports that Netflix will begin 2019 with a price hike for all streaming packages in the United States. Netflix’s most popular plan, the Standard tier that offers two HD streams, will increase 18 percent from $10.99 to $12.99 per month, and its Basic plan (which offers a single non-HD stream) will increase from $7.99 to $8.99 per month. The Premium plan, which allows up to four Ultra HD streams, is spiking from $13.99 to $15.99 per month.
All new subscribers will be subject to increased fees immediately, while existing customers will be shifted to the new plan “over the next few months.” The company will then roll out the cost bump to around 40 countries in Latin America, where it bills in U.S. dollars, but larger markets such as Mexico and Brazil will not yet be responsible for increased prices.
“We change pricing from time to time as we continue investing in great entertainment and improving the overall Netflix experience,” a spokeswoman for Netflix said in a statement.
Netflix does have upwards of $5 billion in long-term debt and has begun executing plans for overseas expansion—where growth has plateaued recently—and more mobile-friendly packages to help offset its enormous spending. The streamer is investing around $12 billion into content this year, so it’s not like customers can argue that the revenue isn’t rerouted back into the product. What we see on the screen certainly looks rich.
The last time Netflix jacked up its prices was in the final quarter of 2017, two years after its highly publicized and somewhat shady initial cost hike. However, this is the service’s biggest subscription price increase ever.