The Upside Down is going up — in price. Netflix is raising the price of two of its plans for U.S. customers.
The most popular Standard plan will increase by a dollar to $13.99 and the 4K-inclusive Premium plan will now cost two dollars more at $17.99 per month, according to a report at The Verge. Only the basic plan, which doesn't stream in HD, will remain the same at $8.99.
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Netflix last raised its prices for U.S. subscribers in January 2019. A company spokesperson told The Verge that the prices are increasing "so that we can continue to offer more variety of TV shows and films."
The price hike comes during the coronavirus pandemic, which has led to the shuttering or restriction of most entertainment options like movie theaters and concert halls. But streaming services like Netflix experienced a surge of demand in the early months of the pandemic.
However, that demand has waned in recent months. Last quarter, after six months of record-breaking growth, Netflix reported its smallest subscriber increase since 2016. The company told shareholders that the slowdown in growth was expected as stay-at-home orders lifted.
The price increase immediately triggered a 5% leap in Netflix stock, according to CNBC. (opens in new tab)
The new plan fees are already listed on Netflix's help website. (opens in new tab) New subscribers are subject to the new prices immediately, while current subscribers will see them roll out with their billing cycles over the next few weeks.
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New Netflix Plan Prices
|Plan||Price||Simultaneous streams||Video quality|
|Premium||$17.99||4||HD and 4K Ultra HD|
Netflix has recently canceled a number of shows, citing the difficulty or cost of production during the pandemic. They include GLOW, Away, Teenage Bounty Hunters, I Am Not Okay With This and The Society.
But the streaming service insists it has a wealth of forthcoming content and its production pipeline is full and flowing. In a letter to shareholders, the company said, "For our 2021 slate, we continue to expect the number of Netflix originals launched on our service to be up year over year in each quarter of 2021 and we’re confident that we’ll have an exciting range of programming for our members, particularly relative to other entertainment service options."
Indeed, Stranger Things season 4 has resumed filming. So has The Witcher season 2. You season 3 is expected to start up soon. That's not to mention the already-completed shows and movies that will roll out in the next few months, like Ma Rainey's Black Bottom, Mank, Ryan Murphy's Prom, Shonda Rhimes' Bridgerton and Cobra Kai season 3.
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