If you’ve been sitting on your duff and dithering over whether or not to get Netflix, you've got some bad news in store: the streaming video service just raised its prices from $7.99 per month to $8.99 per month. This increases the yearly cost of Netflix from $95.88 to $107.88, and makes it more expensive than Hulu Plus ($95.88 per year) and Amazon Prime Instant Video ($99 per year), its nearest competitors.
The Netflix price increase is not all doom and gloom, however. The $8.99 price only applies for new subscribers, meaning that if you're a current Netflix subscriber — even if you only started using it yesterday — your current rate is guaranteed for the next two years. After that, Netflix will probably increase it, but may still offer other incentives for longtime members.
Netflix has already increased its prices elsewhere in the world without too much of a shakeup. Last month, the streaming service raised its prices for Irish subscribers from €6.99 ($9.63) to €7.99 ($11.01) without a marked drop in subscribers or increase in profits.
There’s no clear indication as to why Netflix is increasing its prices, but aside from simple profit, the company may also be dealing with ramifications from its Comcast deal. The cable company Comcast had been throttling Netflix and giving users a subpar experience until it strong-armed Netflix into a deal. While the specifics of the deal are known only to Comcast and Netflix, chances are Netflix had to pay a pretty penny to keep its service running at a reasonable rate for Comcast users.
While this price increase may cause some grumbling among Netflix users, it’s unlikely that many current subscribers will drop the service, given that they won’t have to pay an extra cent for the next two years. Whether new subscribers are willing to stomach $8.99 per month, however, is something that videophiles — and Netflix — will be very eager to learn.