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Updated on Thursday, October 5, 2017
Your Netflix-and-chill date is about to get a little more costly.
Mashable first reported that the online media streaming company is raising the price of both its mid-level and premium subscription plans by November. MagnifyMoney confirmed details of the price hikes with a Netflix rep on Thursday.
The mid-level, ‘standard’ plan will rise one dollar to $10.99 a month, while the price of the company’s ‘premium’ service will rise to $13.99 a month from $11.99.
The silver lining: Subscribers to the “basic” $7.99 plan will not see a price increase. If you happen to be reading this from another country, you are safe, too, as prices are only rising for U.S. customers.
When will my bill rise?
Existing customers should receive an email this month letting them know they will see a rise in their bills starting November. The company says it will begin sending out notifications Oct. 19. New subscribers will be charged the new prices immediately.
Under its FAQs, Netflix states it sends users an email a month before their next billing date to inform them of a price change whenever these occur. The company also displays a message with price-change details when users sign in.
Netflix has three subscription tiers. What a user pays comes down to how many screens they would like to be able watch at once. All of the plans allow users to download titles onto their mobile devices.
$7.99 — Basic
Users can only stream what they are watching on Netflix on one device at a time, and in standard definition. Users may download titles on one device.
$10.99 — Standard
Netflix’s standard plan lets users stream content on two devices at once and in high definition if it’s available. This plan also lets users download titles to two phones or tablets.
$13.99 — Premium
At the highest tier, users may stream Netflix’s content on four devices at a time. They can also view shows and movies in high definition or ultra-high definition if it’s available. Those subscribed to the premium plan can download content on up to four devices.
Why is the price going up?
Netflix last increased its prices October 2015. The company justified the price hike in a statement on Thursday, saying it has “added a downloading feature, introduced interactive content, announced a robust slate of new content (including films) and have continued to improve the member experience.”
The company issued the following statement to MagnifyMoney:
From time to time, Netflix plans and pricing are adjusted as we add more exclusive TV shows and movies, introduce new product features and improve the overall Netflix experience to help members find something great to watch even faster.
Over the years, Netflix has continued to expand its business internationally while simultaneously beefing up its exclusive content, produced in-house. So far in 2017, the company has announced exclusive content deals with big names like Shonda Rhimes and Adam Sandler, among others. The company also recently completed its first acquisition when it purchased the comic book publisher Millarworld in a deal estimated to have cost between $50 million and $100 million, according to The Wall Street Journal. All of that activity isn’t cheap.
In addition to increased spending, Netflix is seeing competition from new and existing companies, as activity in the streaming space grows. Apple, for example, reportedly plans to spend $1 billion on original content in 2018, and — just this summer — Disney announced plans to launch its own streaming service in 2019, end an exclusive distribution deal with Netflix and pull some of its content from that service.
And let’s not forget Amazon. Business Insider reports that the internet giant is likely to spend $4.5 billion on video in 2017.
Besides that, older, well-established media giants are finally cashing in on the cord-cutting trend and launching their own services. AT&T a year ago announced its DirecTV Now service that offers consumers 100+ channels for about $35 a month.
Users questioned the Netflix increases on social media. Some users stated they would end their subscriptions, while others questioned whether Netflix would increase the quality and availability of content with subscription prices.
— Kristen Scheven (@KristenScheven) October 5, 2017
Canceled #Netflix today. Not paying $15 a month for random shows I watch every once in awhile. The price increase is insane.
— Stretch Mark™ (@anverhelm) October 5, 2017
— Guillermo Rodriguez (@YourBoy_G) October 5, 2017
A previous 2011 price increase cost Netflix an estimated 800,000 subscribers. Back then, the company announced it would charge different prices for its DVDs-by-mail and streaming video plans. Time will tell if they face similar backlash this time around.
The bottom line
The prices for the middle and premium tiers are going up, which may bother anyone who shares their Netflix account with other people. But, at the basic level, Netflix’s offering is still cheaper than those offered by many of Netflix’s competitors.
The price of Netflix’s basic plan also hasn’t changed since its 2010 launch.