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Businesses The Almighty Buck Entertainment

Netflix is Raising Its Prices, Again (mashable.com) 277

Jason Abbruzzese, writing for Mashable: Get ready to pay just a bit more for your Netflix subscription. The streaming video service will be raising prices on its middle and top tier plans in the U.S. starting in November. Subscribers who currently pay for the standard $9.99 service will be charged $10.99. The price of the premium tier will rise from $11.99 to $13.99. Good news for people on the basic $7.99 plan -- that price is staying put, for now. The U.S.-only price hikes will begin to go into effect in November, varying depending on individuals' billing cycles. Starting on Oct. 19, subscribers will be notified and given at least 30 days notice about the increase.

Netflix is Raising Its Prices, Again

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 05, 2017 @11:06AM (#55314931)

    Our family has the highest tier subscription, so that at any given time any of the 4 in our home can watch what they please. We're in Canada, and even though supposedly NF here is not "as good as" the USA, we're satisfied and find plenty to watch. It's still cheaper than cable, still ad-free, and makes us happy. No complaints from our four walls.

    • On the contrary, the last six times I heard about a show and went to watch it on netflix, it wasn't available. I was hoping they could at least have How it's Made by Discovery channel but, nada.
      • by Binestar ( 28861 )
        Interestingly enough, a lot of the old history channel stuff is up on youtube. I've been more and more been considering dropping my netflix account, since it's less than 10% of my watch time. I'm at about 60% youtube channels and 40% hulu. I don't think this price increase will cause me to drop it though, there are still netflix originals I enjoy.
        • I just can't watch TV on youtube. Too much effort to find episode by episode.. then the next one isn't there, etc.
          • by Binestar ( 28861 )
            I don't disagree with this, but does the original air order matter for How it's made?
            • Well the alternative is remembering everyone I have seen and regarding that some how, so yes.
              • by Binestar ( 28861 )
                They need to have a season showing how to make something. A merlin engine for example, episode one starts with smelting the ore, episode 2 making the tools to make the tools, episode 3 is bolts and nuts, episode 4 is another piece. You miss episodes 5 and 6 and you're like where the heck did that piston ring come from?
    • by Luthair ( 847766 )
      Opposite boat - the only reason I have a subscription is so my parents & sibling can use it. Would have cancelled several years ago otherwise, can rarely find anything worth watching.
  • by blahbooboo ( 839709 ) on Thursday October 05, 2017 @11:07AM (#55314935)

    So let me get this straight, they've already lost a lot of non-Netflix created content, will lose Disney in 2019, and now they're raising the price?

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Back to piracy I go.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      So let me get this straight, they've already lost a lot of non-Netflix created content, will lose Disney in 2019, and now they're raising the price?

      They're just prepping you for once they finally get rid of net neutrality.

    • So let me get this straight, they've already lost a lot of non-Netflix created content, will lose Disney in 2019, and now they're raising the price?

      The problem is they need more money to keep stuff on their channel. This current craze of every cable vendor and their dog starting their own streaming service means content is getting more expensive to lock down.

      Nobody is winning out of this whole balkanization of the streaming scene.

      • Counter-intuative (Score:5, Insightful)

        by JBMcB ( 73720 ) on Thursday October 05, 2017 @11:59AM (#55315421)

        And movie companies forget the lesson of VHS over and over and over again.

        Make stuff cheap. Sell it to everybody. Make tons of money.

        I worked at a video store when VHS movies were initially $80 a copy for a few months, then went down to $25. This was purely to get money from the video rental stores.

        Then Jurassic Park came out on VHS, and Spielberg had the brilliant idea to sell it for $20 right off the bat. Almost made the same amount of money that ticket sales made. Instead of selling a couple of million copies for $80 a pop, they sold ten million copies at $20.

        It's almost as if there are demand/price curves that determine these things.

        • Netflix after the price increase will still be very inexpensive, probably the best value out there for streaming. I give a larger amount per month to NPR. It's just a fraction of the cost of my ISP, a fraction of the cost of my phone service, and a very small fraction of a typical cable or satellite subscription.

          But I have learned that the less expensive something is, the more people complain if the price jumps marginally. If something is free and then later they ask for a few cents, people will complain t

    • by squiggleslash ( 241428 ) on Thursday October 05, 2017 @11:41AM (#55315233) Homepage Journal

      Yup. Netflix is loss making, so the idea they might still need to raise prices while they offer a slightly worse service is not contradictory. The question is whether people are willing to pay more.

      My guess is yes. But I suspect Netflix would be more successful if they added as much content as possible and doubled their prices, rather than doing what they're doing. It's better to get people the product they want to pay for, and charge them what it costs, than to offer something half assed.

      • by nine-times ( 778537 ) <nine.times@gmail.com> on Thursday October 05, 2017 @02:34PM (#55316765) Homepage

        My guess is yes. But I suspect Netflix would be more successful if they added as much content as possible and doubled their prices

        It's not clear that they have that option. Content owners have been playing games with licensing for years, and if one thing is clear, it's that they don't want you to be able to subscribe to one service where you can get all (or "enough") of the content you want under one roof.

        This is what's going on:

        Company #1 has 5 pieces of content, which are A, B, C, D, and E. Company #2 have 5 pieces of content, which are V, W, X, Y, and Z. So Amazon licenses A, B, V, W, and X. Netflix licenses A, C, D, V, and X. Hulu licenses A, B, E, W, and Y. Everyone involved knows that you, the consumer, want all 10 pieces of content, so they're trying to get you to subscribe to Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon. Plus, you'll notice that only gets you A, B, C, D, E, V, W, and X. To get Z, you still have to buy it or pay for cable.

        And part of this whole scheme is that they're intentionally getting you to pay for each piece of content several times over. They justify their pricing because of all the content they have, even though there's an awful lot of overlap.

        And that's why content owners are never going to let Netflix have anything resembling a "complete library" of content. If they do that, then you'll only pay for that content once, and you'll be paying Netflix. Netflix will set the price and the terms. If they play a lot of games with exclusivity, then they can play the distribution channels off of each other, and get consumers to pay for most shows several times.

      • Yup. Netflix is loss making, so the idea they might still need to raise prices while they offer a slightly worse service is not contradictory. The question is whether people are willing to pay more.

        My guess is yes. But I suspect Netflix would be more successful if they added as much content as possible and doubled their prices, rather than doing what they're doing. It's better to get people the product they want to pay for, and charge them what it costs, than to offer something half assed.

        Indeed. I'm considering dropping Netflix- not because their prices are going up... I was considering before I read that. I'm considering dropping because they don't have anything anymore. Hulu or Amazon Prime usually has what I want. Netflix rarely does... and when they do, you start watching a show only for them to yank it off the air when you're half way through a season. Might hang around to watch season 2 of stranger things and then can my Netflix subscription.

    • by Anubis IV ( 1279820 ) on Thursday October 05, 2017 @11:44AM (#55315267)

      Yup, but it shouldn't come as a surprise, nor is it necessarily something to get worked up over.

      Netflix was considered an upstart company for a long time, with most of the studios and networks not recognizing how disruptive it would eventually become. As such, Netflix was viewed as yet another way to profit from back catalogs that otherwise weren't providing much value to their owners, so Netflix was able to secure a number of multiyear licenses from major organizations (e.g. Starz) for little more than a pittance. Fast forward 10 years and everyone has woken up to the fact that Netflix poses a major threat to the very foundations of the traditional television business model. They aren't willing to give away licenses to their old content for cheap, nor are they so willing to license recent stuff without ensuring that they receive hefty compensation.

      In response, Netflix only has two options: raise prices or reduce their catalog, and they've done both to varying degrees.

      What I've noticed recently is that Netflix seems to be procuring short-term licenses for big-name films, that way people can watch them as they hit the various services, but that these licenses seem to expire after a few months. Doing it that way lets the vast majority of people who were interested in that film watch it, without forcing Netflix to raise prices in order to keep those big-name films in their library in perpetuity. Likewise, they let older items expire, but most of them seem to return again a year or two later, as if at any given time Netflix wants their library to have about X items in it, but they renew licenses in a round robin fashion so that people have an opportunity to actually watch more than X items.

      For me, even with the price hike, it's still a great value proposition. With dozens of items currently in my queue and more being added on a regular basis, it may not have any particular thing I want to see at any given time, but it always has enough things I want to see that I'm never lacking for entertainment.

    • It's till the best value for the dollar by far if you don't count ISP cost. These days the ISP is taken for granted. Even with a trivial price increase it still remains the cheapest legal service. Better offerings overall than other streaming services, minimal buffering delays because of adaptive streaming, and high quality of its own shows (I know they push these hard, but they're a tiny fraction of why people subscribe).

  • No way to win. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    We want one service that gives us access to all content.

    But, we also want the price to be low.

    As soon as there is just one service, the price will go through the roof. The more Netflix dominates, the higher its price.

    Sucks.

    • by BorgDrone ( 64343 ) on Thursday October 05, 2017 @11:13AM (#55314979) Homepage

      Of course there is a way to win.

      We want to subscribe to one service and get all content, we don't need (or want) that content to be exclusive to that service.

      So the solution is simple, forbid exclusivity and require content creators to provide their content to all services under identical terms. Then you have multiple services to choose from and all services can offer all content (if they want).

      • You have made Ann Rand spin in her grave.......maybe we can harness the energy to add competition to the market, it's what she would have wanted.
      • by houghi ( 78078 )

        They should also make them available for free via torrent. Torrent is a service, so people will have a real choice. Those who want to pay for it can and those who don't won't to pay for it won't have to.

  • Another year another 10% price hike. This is why I ditched my cable in the first place Netflix.
  • by p51d007 ( 656414 )
    Typical drug dealer....get em hook for free/reduced price, then JACK up the price because they are junkies!
  • Why can't we both get a dollar subscription raise instead of one group of customers paying for the other? We all use the service and should support it.
    • by DarkOx ( 621550 ) on Thursday October 05, 2017 @11:31AM (#55315137) Journal

      Its called price discrimination. You create tiered offerings because you want to get charge the people the most who are willing to pay the most, while not being forced to turn away still profitable but lower contribution margin business.

      If you don't like it the correct way to protest is go down to the 7.99 tier. That is how you tell NetFlix you like the service overall but don't place the same premium on premium service that they do. If enough people do it; the result will be they either raise rates on the bottom tier to hit the revenue goals while making a perhaps slightly cheaper premium tier seem like a better decision at the margin for consumers, or go back to a single class of service.

    • I think there needs to a split formula.

      Part of your fee should go to general content production. You're not going to willingly fork out for something you aren't going to see for the first time for another year or so, but when that year's up, you're going to expect something novel to watch. And having a diverse selection helps keep the content producer financially healthy so your preferred content remains available.

      Another part of your fee should be directed to more specific production - if all you watch i

  • by Anonymous Coward

    With my own library of movies and TV shows on DVD hooked to a media player for the TV paying nothing in subscription fees. Even when the Internet is down I still have TV. When the electric is done, I still have TV with battery power if I wanted. Cheers!

    • by DarkOx ( 621550 )

      The thing is many of us that have been around awhile have a good size library. The thing about my library is its mostly about sharing things I especially enjoyed with others. I very rarely plop down in front of any of that stuff on my own. "I have seen it."

      The trouble with your model is adding a single new item to your library costs 1/2 the price of month subscription to Netflix assuming you are buying off the used rack! You get what 4 hours of new (to you) content a month for $8? Not the model most of

  • Good for Netflix (Score:5, Insightful)

    by JohnFen ( 1641097 ) on Thursday October 05, 2017 @11:28AM (#55315109)

    ...but screw Netflix. I am not going to support one of the three companies who were the primary forces behind making the EME part of the HTML5 standard.

  • are idiots. Netflix's business model is to be a dominant player, if not a monopoly. In a few years, they'll rise prices and if they do win their monopoly status, prices will be just as bad as cable.

    • by jandrese ( 485 )
      Then we will need a new Netflix to eat their customers the way Netflix has eaten cable's customers.
      • Exactly. But some people get offended when someone else get [INSERT SHOW XYZ] instead of Netflix. As if they should be able to get all shows for that price.
        Some people are literally asking to be rapped and they don't even know it.

    • Amazon is well placed with their service being bundled in with all the other Prime stuff. The next evolution of all of this will be when the streamers get pinched for cash and start licensing their original catalog to each other in syndication. Then it'll be a race to the bottom again.
  • by sremick ( 91371 ) on Thursday October 05, 2017 @11:36AM (#55315181)

    When they stop removing as much as they add month to month, maybe I'll start caring about Netflix. Until then, I'll stick with Plex. Stuff doesn't disappear there unless I want it to go away.

    You'd think Netflix has a limited number of hard drives or something and has to shuffle things around to manage space (I know it's a licensing thing, but it's still bullshit).

    • stop removing as much as they add month to month

      This is called budgeting. If they paid for more content, you would pay more. As it is, they are already getting higher fees from distributors and have to increase their subscription rates without adding content.

  • by Solandri ( 704621 ) on Thursday October 05, 2017 @11:38AM (#55315203)
    Netflix introduced the unlimited streaming plan [huffingtonpost.com] at $7.99 in July 2011. (Their current $7.99 plan doesn't stream in HD, so the $9.99 soon to be $10.99 plan corresponds to their original $7.99 plan.)

    $7.99 in July 2011 is equivalent to $8.68 today [bls.gov].

    So bumping it up to $10.99 means it's increased by 1.27x the rate of inflation. Or an average annual increase of 5.5% vs the actual annual CPI inflation rate of 1.4% over the last 6 years.
    • by QuietLagoon ( 813062 ) on Thursday October 05, 2017 @12:22PM (#55315647)

      ...So bumping it up to $10.99 means it's increased by 1.27x the rate of inflation...

      Good analysis. Also, when I look at your analysis, I note that the Netflix library is becoming a shadow of what it had been. That makes the 1.27 times inflation number look even worse. Paying more money, and getting less product.

      • by nomadic ( 141991 )

        They added a lot more original shows, which on average are better than the network shows.

        • by pnutjam ( 523990 )
          As long as you can get past the first episode's gratuitous nudity and or violence. They always seem to have some sort of mostly unrelated sex scene.
    • by cyn1c77 ( 928549 )

      Netflix introduced the unlimited streaming plan [huffingtonpost.com] at $7.99 in July 2011. (Their current $7.99 plan doesn't stream in HD, so the $9.99 soon to be $10.99 plan corresponds to their original $7.99 plan.)

      $7.99 in July 2011 is equivalent to $8.68 today [bls.gov].

      So bumping it up to $10.99 means it's increased by 1.27x the rate of inflation. Or an average annual increase of 5.5% vs the actual annual CPI inflation rate of 1.4% over the last 6 years.

      Right, but how much content have they actually lost access to since 2011?

      I would argue quite a bit since they let the Starz and other popular content deals expire.

      They have backfilled with less popular content and some of their own making, but as a subscriber, I would argue that their content is less appealing than it was 2011.

      Also, they have completely destroyed the usability of their website to accommodate this loss of content. Their "ranking" system doesn't actually show you others' ratings anymore, it

  • Netflix is more than an order of magnitude better than cable even after the increase. Even if I needed 10 services to replace cable, I'd be ahead!

    • You still need to pay for internet in order to use it... so factor that into your budget.

      Or do you just get discs in the mail?
      • You still need to pay for internet to exist in the modern world. I wouldn't include it in streaming costs unless you are upgrading to a higher speed tier than you would have otherwise.

  • by bryan314 ( 33183 ) on Thursday October 05, 2017 @12:03PM (#55315459)
    If you device supports downloading just download the program. It by passes the 2/4 streamming limit. You can download a show while other family members are watching the other streams. And watching downloaded programs don't count towards streams. Leave the 2 streams for devices that can't download. Learn this one when me and my kids were fighting over the 2 streams.
  • At least they are going after their own clients. They successfully lobbied for DRM on HTML standards, that fucked up the Internet for everyone.
    Netflix is no better than any cable company pushing for censorship online. I already canceled them all.

  • ... Get ready to pay just a bit more ...

    At what point does a 10% price increase be viewed as a significant price increase?

  • .....Netflix a long time ago. Not enough on it for me. I do like Hulu plus though.
  • by cascadingstylesheet ( 140919 ) on Thursday October 05, 2017 @01:32PM (#55316235)

    Dropped netflix a couple of years ago. Just wasn't enough to justify even the $10.

    Still have Amazon Prime. Not sure if I'd keep it just for either the free shipping or the Prime videos, but together, yeah. Love the eclectic mix of stuff I find to watch there.

  • Unless Netflix fixes it's voice control for Xbox One, if they don't, then I have no problem cancelling. The service is weak, almost all of their original content I don't really like or enjoy and they're cancelling Longmire which was the only one I really cared about watching. They've lost most of their CBS shows, all their Disney soon, and lots of other programs.

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