Netflix’s US prices are going up. Starting Thursday, new subscribers must pay $1 more, or $14 a month, for a standard subscription, Netflix’s most popular plan. A premium subscription — which unlocks perks like 4K resolution, HDR image quality and the ability to stream on more devices at the same time — cost $2 more at $18 a month.
Netflix’s basic subscription, which streams at DVD-quality 480p and limits simultaneous streams to just a single device, remains $9 a month.
Current subscribers won’t see their bills go up immediately, but the respite won’t last long.
People who already subscribe to Netflix will get email and app notifications about the price change, followed by an increase to their monthly bill in the coming weeks. Anyone who didn’t previously subscribe to Netflix and signs up now must pay the higher rates.
The price bump, though likely unwelcome for Netflix lovers, was expected to come sometime soon. Netflix had already tapped prices higher in Canada earlier this month, a harbinger of US pricing increases to come.
The rate increases come after a raft of new streaming rivals have launched from media and tech giants in the last year, a period sometimes called the streaming wars. The new competitors — including HBO Max, NBCUniversal’s Peacock and Disney Plus — varying widely in pricing, from free tiers to $15 a month. But the new competitors’ catalogs and pipelines of new programming pale in comparison to Netflix’s, spurring some analysts to characterize Netflix pricing as too cheap.
“We understand people have more entertainment choices than ever, and we’re committed to delivering an even better experience for our members,” a spokesperson for Netflix said. “We’re updating our prices so that we can continue to offer more variety of TV shows and films — in addition to our great fall lineup. As always we offer a range of plans so that people can pick a price that works best for their budget.”
Netflix has grown like crazy since the coronavirus pandemic started locking down swaths of the world, trapping them in their homes with sparse options to entertain themselves. But that growth slowed significantly in the last few months, as Netflix predicted, likely because people who were already likely to subscribe sometime this year simply signed up earlier than they would have otherwise.
The last time Netflix raised prices in the US was at the start of 2019, when the monthly cost of both the standard and premium subscriptions rose by $2.