The unfortunately inevitable has arrived: Netflix is raising its prices (in the US and Canada, for now).
Here’s the TL;DR in the US:
- The Basic Plan (480p, 1 device at a time) is going from $8.99 to $9.99
- The Standard Plan (1080P, 2 devices) is going from $13.99 to $15.49
- The Premium Plan (4K, 4 devices) is going from $17.99 to $19.99
In Canada, Standard plans will now cost $16.49 CAD (up from $14.99 CAD) and premium plans will cost $20.99 CAD (up from $18.99) — basic plans remain the same up north.
The prices are effective immediately for new subscribers, while for existing ones it’ll roll out gradually as they begin their next billing cycles.
Paying $1-2 bucks more a month may not seem like much, but keep in mind it’s Netflix’s sixth streaming price hike for US customers since 2014. Back then, the Standard Plan cost just $7.99, which the Premium Plan was $11.99, so prices have virtually doubled. For the record, the dollar has only inflated about 18% since 2014.
I know making all that original content costs a lot of money, but I can’t help but feel Netflix is also taking advantage of its position as a market leader.
It sucks for streaming fans. The thing is, back in 2014, not only was Netflix a lot cheaper, but it was also the only streaming service TV aficionados really needed (yes, I know nobody needs to watch TV). I could find almost anything I wanted to binge on just Netflix and maybe another service or two (Hulu and Crunchyroll, in my case).
Compare that to the streaming market in 2022. There’s Prime Video, Disney+, HBO Max, Apple TV+, Paramount+, Discovery+, and countless other smaller services I’m forgetting. Of course, you don’t need to be subscribed to all of them, but frankly, it’s a pain to keep track of what show is on which platform, especially as licensing deals are shifting about all the time.
Obviously, it’s not Netflix’s fault that everyone wants to get in on the streaming action, but I don’t think the company can justify raising its prices almost every year as the competition ramps up. Netflix may have much more original content than ever now, but it feels like I’m getting less of what I actually want to watch for my money.
Oh well, I guess there are always books.