by Joanna Lei
Graphic by Benton Loi
Netflix, one of the most popular streaming services, has increased prices for the first time since 2016.
Netflix had only increased their standard plan in 2016 from $8.99 to $9.99 per month. However, Netflix increased two of their three plans this year. Their most popular, the standard plan, provides HD and two simultaneous streams. It increased from $9.99 to $10.99 monthly. In addition, their highest-tier plan or premium, which features ultra HD video resolution and four simultaneous streams, jumped from $11.99 to $13.99 monthly. Their lowest-tier plan or basic, however, did not change in price, remaining at $7.99 monthly.
New subscribers experienced this change Oct. 5, but existing members received a notification Oct. 19 about when their prices will increase. Even though Netflix bumped up their prices, an advantage that subscribers will have is access to more exclusive TV shows and movies.
“I am not sure if I would want to continue using Netflix anymore. Their movie and TV show selections are not as good anymore, and because they increased their prices for two of their three plans, that makes me want to quit using Netflix. I am not really interested in their original shows,” said junior Tabor Liu.
According to Forbes, the main reason why Netflix increased prices is because they are investing $6 billion in original content, such as “Stranger Things,” “House of Cards,” “BoJack Horseman” and “Narcos.” By 2018, their investment in original series and movies will increase to $7 billion; all the while, they are trying to out-compete other streaming services, including Amazon Prime Video, Hulu and HBO Now that are also seeking to create original works.
In addition, the Walt Disney Company will end their distribution agreement with Netflix in 2019, meaning that Disney will no longer offer new movies and TV shows to Netflix. This harms the service, as there will be limited Disney movies and shows to watch, which ultimately resulted in increased prices to produce more original works and also to provide new TV shows and movies to replace the Disney content by 2019.
“I love Netflix and I would still watch it even if they raise the prices since most cable companies charge at a more expensive price. I still think Netflis has better deals,” Jacqueline Yutan, senior.
Netflix has accumulated a hefty $20.54 billion in long-term debt and obligations in its effort to produce more original content, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Even though subscribers will have to pay more if they choose the standard or premium plan, Netflix’s standard plan still costs less than HBO Now’s $14.99 (per month) plan and Hulu’s $11.99 commercial-free plan.
“When I do have time to watch Netflix, I always watch Greys Anatomy. If they ever increase their prices, I will still be willing to pay more because of the many programs they provide. Because of that, my family and I do not feel the need to continue to pay for cable when most shows are shown in Netflix,” Amber Contreras, sophomore.
Subscribers will notice more changes within the next few months.