Netflix Hikes U.S. Subscription Prices Amid Spending Spree
The price of the most popular plan is going up by 10 percent to cover rising content costs, starting in November.
Netflix is raising its subscription prices, again.
The cost of the video streaming giant and TV game-changer's most popular U.S. plan is going up by $1 to $10.99, it was announced Thursday. The aim is to cover sky-high content costs as the search heats up for the next Orange Is the New Black or House of Cards for Netflix to go up against Amazon's Transparent and Hulu's Emmy-winning The Handmaid's Tale.
"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," Netflix said in a statement to The Hollywood Reporter.
The changes impact Netflix's 53 million U.S. subscribers binge-viewing on films and TV series as the video platform has emerged as a major buyer of original content. The company has plans to spend $6 billion on content this year as it faces stepped-up streaming competition from Amazon Prime, Hulu and YouTube.
To fund that spending, Netflix will now charge $10.99 per month instead of $9.99 for a plan that allows two people to simultaneously watch programs on different devices. Another plan that streams ultra-high definition, or 4K, video, will rise 17 percent, to $13.99, from $11.99 a month. The lowest-cost plan, at $7.99, which doesn't include HD and does not allow for simultaneous streaming, will not increase in price.
As Internet streaming services become increasingly popular amid continuing cord-cutting, Netflix and rival streamers Amazon and Hulu are aggressively spending to acquire new series from major Hollywood and international suppliers, or produce their own original shows.
Netflix's latest price increases will roll out to U.S. subscribers over the next couple of months, and be fully in place in December. The company added that, since its last price increase in October 2015, Netflix has added a downloading feature and interactive content.
The U.S. price hikes don't impact Netflix's other international markets, where most of its growth comes from these days. And they have yet to negatively impact Netflix's stock price, which jumped by $8.20, or 4.5 percent, to $192.64 in mid-morning trading on the NASDAQ Exchange.
Shares in the company continued their rise throughout the day, as they traded at $193.58, up $9.14, or nearly 5 percent, just before the market close.
When responding to a tweet about the price hike on Thursday, Netflix said users will get an email on or after Oct. 19 informing them of the new price.
Oct. 5, 3:45 p.m. Trading in Netflix stock updated.