(Pocket-lint) - Netflix is raising its subscription rates once again.
The popular video streaming service recently rolled out what some may consider pretty drastic price changes across all its subscription plans in the US, marking the fourth time Netflix has changed its pricing strategy in the country (the last price hike happened in 2017). Now, Netflix is raising its prices for UK customers on its standard and premium streaming plans, according to The Guardian.
Right now, most people in the US and UK will probably eat these price hikes without even hardly complaining. But that might one day change, especially as Netflix will soon lose some of its biggest content while having more competition than ever. Here's what you need to know, including why this is happening. We've also contacted Netflix for a comment and will update when we know more.
How much is Netflix?
Standard definition plan
The basic, standard tier in SD.
- US: Netflix's SD plan is $8.99 a month, as of May 2019, up from $7.99 monthly due to the new price hike.
- UK: Netflix's SD plan will reportedly remain unchanged, at £5.99 a month.
High definition plan
Allows for HD streaming on two devices at the same time.
- US: Netflix's HD plan, which is the most popular plan, is $12.99 a month, as of May 2019, an increase from $10.99 monthly.
- UK: Netflix's HD plan will reportedly cost £8.99 a month, up from £7.99 monthly, starting in May 2019.
Ultra high definition plan
Allows for streaming on up to four devices in Ultra HD
- US: Netflix's 4K plan is $15.99 a month, as of May 2019. It went up from $13.99.
- UK: Netflix's 4K plan will reportedly cost £11.99 per month, up from £9.99 monthly, starting in May 2019.
When will the price hikes go into effect?
Existing subscribers in the US will had their prices raised gradually over a three-month period, from mid-January 2019 to mid-April 2019. However, new subscribers in the US immediately began seeing (and paying) the new prices.
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The price hikes will reportedly be rolling out to existing UK customers in the next few weeks, though new customers should immediately start paying the new subscription fees, according to The Guardian.
Why is Netflix raising rates?
Netflix’s primary goal has been - for quite a long time - to produce more of its own original content. For instance, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings once said Netflix has a goal to increase the amount of original content on the platform from 20 per cent to 50 per cent. So, if we had to guess, that is a large part of what’s driving these new price changes, as the video streaming service has to finance its original productions, which isn't cheap.
Let's also not forget that Netflix can’t as easily acquire the rights to stream content from other media companies. It’s expected to lose some of its major content providers later this year, when all the available Disney and Pixar and some Marvel content will abruptly move over to Disney’s upcoming streaming service, Disney+. On top of that blow, it seems like almost every company has or is building a new streaming platform.
CBS and FX have already launched CBS All Access and FX+, for instance, and NBCUniversal recently announced it'll be debut a streaming platform in 2020. Meanwhile, Apple has been producing its own content, with the expectation it'll launch its TV+ service in the very near future.
Is Netflix raising rates in the UK?
Netflix began rolling out price hikes for US users in early 2019. At the time, it confirmed those changes would have no impact on UK users. However, in May 2019, The Guardian claimed the UK would immediately get price hikes.