Netflix lists “more entertainment options than ever before” and raises prices again

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Netflix confirmed on Friday plans to raise the price of video streaming services in North America for the first time in 11 years.

Unlike many previous Netflix price increases, this year’s surge applies to all three subscription options. In the United StatesThe “basic” tier, capped at 720p and including other limits, will increase for the first time in three years, jumping from $ 1 to $ 9.99 per month. 1080p “standard” tiers range from $ 1.50 to $ 15.49 per month. And the 4K “premium” tier jumps from $ 2 to $ 19.99 per month. Canadian customers can expect similar price increases for all three tiers.

According to Netflix, price increases will be phased out to existing customers based on the billing cycle, and all customers will be notified at least 30 days before the higher price becomes effective. Brand new customers must immediately start paying high prices.

Pay more for a “better experience”

In statements submitted to various retailers, Netflix representatives gave a strange explanation for price increases. “We understand that people have more entertainment options than ever before and we are committed to providing our members with a better experience,” the statement said. “We are updating prices to continue to offer a variety of high quality entertainment options. As always, we offer different plans to help members choose the price that fits their budget.” ( Ars Technica asked a Netflix representative about the announcement, but didn’t get an immediate response.)

The explanation reminds customers that there are more affordable streaming option options available in North America. At the time of the press, all of the following popular streaming services are cheaper than Netflix’s $ 15.49 / month “standard” 1080p tier: Amazon Prime Video, Apple TV Plus, Disney Plus, HBO Max, Hulu, Paramount Plus. , Peacock. Almost all of them include a 4K display option by default at no additional charge (Peacock remains a 4K exception to that list).

When it comes to exclusive content, Netflix is ​​bullish on both producing its own movies and series and signing expensive contracts with popular content producers. With its largest 2021 license agreement, Netflix has secured exclusive streaming rights Seinfeld next door for 5 years Reported costs exceed $ 790 million.This is offered as another streamer Open the notebook To Unique exclusive lockdown Licensed movie and TV library.

The company’s Friday statement excludes other unique Netflix selling points. Growing exclusive game library For iOS and Android devices. So far, Netflix has only stepped into this market by rolling out a selection of simple, family-friendly smartphone games, all free of microtransactions and ads. This is not a small selling point for some customers as it provides the family with a simple, ad-free game source that can be easily passed on to children. None of the other streaming services listed, with the exception of Apple One, offer an equivalent. Apple One is a bundle that combines Apple TV +, Apple Arcade, and other services starting at $ 14.99 per month, lower than Netflix’s current “standard” tier.

A quick look at the history of Netflix price increases

Netflix is ​​always in a position to weigh the pros and cons of price increases, given the amount of data already accumulated about subscriber dropoffs after previous hikes. The first true “hiking” to that streaming service took place in 2011, When Netflix no longer offers a combined physical DVD rental and streaming access bundle to US subscribers for $ 9.99. Instead, customers were told they could access each service individually for $ 7.99 per pop. (Physical DVD and Blu-ray rentals will continue to be available to Netflix users in the US, with options of $ 9.99 / month or $ 14.99 / month.)

Since its decoupling, Netflix has offered new tiers and a combination of price increases to those tiers. The “premium” plan will run for $ 11.99 per month in 2013. That “basic” plan emerged in 2014 as a low fidelity option. At the same time, its “standard” plan has risen to $ 8.99 per month... Ars Technica previously covered Netflix price increases 2017 When 2019 (But but 2015), And published a report about 2021 Netflix subscriber drop-offIt could be due to price increases in 2020, changes in streaming consumption patterns due to a temporary easing of the pandemic, intensifying streaming competition, or other factors. Netflix lists “more entertainment options than ever before” and raises prices again

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