Netflix is raising prices for its video streaming customers in the US and Canada less than a year and a half since the last price increase as competition from other streaming services mounts.
The Los Gatos, Calif., company said Friday that prices will increase by $1 to $2 depending on the plan. The “Standard” plan that most people take goes up $1.50 to $15.50. The Canadian version increases by the same amount in local currency to $16.50.
Price hikes are becoming more common for Netflix, which is facing saturation in the US market. Of Netflix’s 213.5 million subscribers, about 74 million live in the US and Canada. It received an influx of worldwide subscribers early in the pandemic, but is investing in video games as it seeks growth beyond films and TV.
In Canada, the price of the standard plan increases from $14.99 to $16.49, while the premium plan is now $20.99 from $18.99. The basic plan stays the same at $9.99.
In the US, Netflix’s most expensive plan is up $2 to $20; The basic plan is up $1 to $10.
Plans vary based on variables like the number of screens users can watch Netflix on at the same time and the number of phones or tablets that can have downloads. The company continues to ship DVDs in a service that requires a separate plan.
The price increase will apply from Friday. Netflix will notify customers via email and in the Netflix app before the new price applies to them. Customers in New York, Alabama and Louisiana were also hit by a new local sales tax bill, which Netflix said was due to the addition of video games to the service.
Netflix previously increased subscriber costs in Canada in October 2020, increasing the standard plan by $1 to $14.99 and the premium plan by $2 to $18.99.
However, in July 2021, the company heralded Canada Day by adding GST or HST charges to subscriber bills.
Netflix debuted in Canada in 2010, charging subscribers just $7.99 per month. At the time, it was the first country to see the network launch outside of the United States
Price increases put people at risk of quitting. Netflix remains the dominant US streaming service, but others, like HBO Max and Disney+, have risen in popularity.
Netflix shares rose in late trade after news of the price hike broke. The stock closed up $6.49, or 1.3%, at $525.69. The company announces its financial results for the fourth quarter on Thursday.
Tali Arbel, The Associated Press