Netflix to raise prices for US subscribers

Netflix is raising fees for U.S. subscribers in its biggest price increase since the company first launched its streaming service 12 years ago.

Depending on your plan, the cost will go up increase by 13 percent to 18 percent. For the most popular plan (which includes high-definition streaming for up to two devices simultaneously), the price will increase from $10.99 to $12.99 per month. Meanwhile, the one-device plan will go up to $8.99 per month, while the four-device plan goes to $15.99.

“We change pricing from time to time as we continue investing in great entertainment and improving the overall Netflix experience for the benefit of our members,” the company said in a statement.

Netflix raised prices last year for its higher-tier plans, but kept the cheapest plan at $7.99 per month. So today’s news marks the first price increase for that plan since it launched in 2010.

When can you expect to see your bill increase? The exact timing will depend on your billing cycle, but it sounds like the changes are going effect quickly. This also applies to Latin American and Caribbean markets where Netflix bills in U.S. dollars, but not in Mexico and Brazil.

It seemed inevitable that Netflix would have to raise prices to fund its continually growing bill for original content. Meanwhile, companies like Disney, AT&T/WarnerMedia and NBCUniversal all plan to launch competing services, which probably means they’ll be less interested in licensing their content to Netflix, and will charge a heftier fee when they do.

At the same time, a price increase risks driving away U.S. subscribers at a time when Netflix may have largely tapped out the domestic market (its real growth opportunities seem to be overseas).
Wall Street is pleased with the news, with Netflix shares up 5.8 percent as of 10:15am Eastern.