Netflix Hits Subscribers With Largest Price Hike In History, Dividing Viewers

Andrew Roberts 15 Jan 2019

Netflix is starting the new year with a new price hike for users, hitting subscribers with the largest rise in the streamer's history.

And while it isn't monumental, it does represent the realities for the streaming giant and where it is heading.

How Much?

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The news about Netflix's price hike has been met with some confusion because outlets are running with percentages, but Variety breaks it down to a firm number for users to follow:

Netflix’s most popular plan, the Standard tier that offers two HD streams, is increasing 18%, from $10.99 to $12.99 per month. The Premium plan, which provides up to four Ultra HD streams, is increasing from $13.99 to $15.99 per month (up 14.3%). In addition, the company for the first time is hiking its Basic plan, which offers a single non-HD stream, from $7.99 to $8.99 per month (+12.5%).

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Again?

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As Complex and others note, this is the largest in the streamer's history and marks the first hike since the fall of 2017. While it isn't a huge amount of money, it is a change some have to get used to in the face of cheaper rivals popping up left and right.

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The Reason

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The main reason for the price hike has to do with Netflix's focus on more original content. Neil Cybart shared this handy flow chart to show you the circular pattern behind the streamer's fiscal strategy and how it will feed into the astronomical costs we're seeing for original content on the platform.

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Friends

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As LoudMouthJulia notes on Twitter, you can't hold $8 billion in debt, $100 million on nostalgic series like Friends, and pledge even more to original content without pushing some numbers up.

There is also the note that Netflix won't push advertising on its users, a big difference between Amazon -- which doesn't need it -- and Hulu -- which uses it to keep the price low.

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'Music To Disney's Ears'

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As Eric Vespe notes, this is going to be good news for Disney's new streaming service when it launches. It was already going to undercut the streaming competition with a lower price, but Netflix raising makes it look even better in comparison.

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Some People Upset

As should be expected, some folks are upset by the news. Nobody likes to pay more for the same service they just paid a lower price for last year, especially if it isn't offering anything new.

However, the chances many will cancel has to be low.

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Others Face Facts

Others want to face facts and look at the cold hard numbers. Netflix is raising the price a couple of dollars, and some have pointed out that it is still a steal.

If you want to pick and choose your streaming platforms you can, but Netflix offers a platform that is easy to use and accessible -- even if you've seen everything.

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Reality With Some Humor

The complaints are also being joined with some humor, letting people know that it's not cool to complain about a price hike when you're not actually paying it. Or if you're just stealing it from your friends.

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Second Cable Bill?

But some of the complaints are valid. Over the top streaming is supposed to be the alternative cable, allowing us to "cut the cord." But now it is growing to be just as expensive as all of these content holders create their own platforms and grow away from the cable box.

It's a grim future for content.

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