Netflix has announced that it is putting its prices up for customers in the UK and Ireland, who now join viewers across the globe feeling the extra strain the streaming service is putting on their wallets with recent subscription cost hikes. So why is this happening worldwide?
The entertainment giant's prices have been going up across the world and now customers in the UK and Ireland will be feeling the pinch. It is the second increase in prices for UK customers in recent months after prices went up in December. They were increased in Ireland in March of 2021.
Netflix offers three levels of subscription, basic, standard and premium, and they're all going up in price.
How much more will a Netflix subscription cost?
Netflix's cheapest option, the basic package, has increased from £5.99 a month to £6.99 in the UK and from €7.99 to €8.99 a month in Ireland. This increase is the first increase in the streamer's basic package in 10 years in the UK and first increase in basic package in eight years in Ireland.
A standard package, which allows viewers the option of watching across two devices simultaneously and in HD, will now cost £10.99 a month, an increase of £1, while the cost is going up by €2 in Ireland to make it €14.99 per month.
Premium subscribers will be hit even harder. They will now be paying £15.99 in the UK and €20.99 in Ireland.
The price change is effective immediately to all new subscribers, while existing members will be notified by Netflix 30 days before they come into effect.
This follows similar price lifts in the US at the start of the year. In the States, Basic Plan customers now pay $9.99 a month (up from $8.99). The Standard Plan, offering two simultaneous HD streams now sits at $15.49 a month, up from $13.99. The top level Premium tier, which widens availability and quality to four screens streaming Ultra HD 4K television at once, rose from $17.99 to $19.99 a month.
What's behind the price increase?
Explaining its decision, a spokesman for the streamer told Deadline: “We have always been focused on providing our members both quality and clear value for their membership. Our updated prices reflect the investment we have made in our service and catalogue and will allow us to continue making the series, documentaries and films our members love as well as investing in talent and the creative industry. We offer a range of plans so members can choose a price that works best for them.”
Why is Netflix increasing its subscription price?
A combination of factors. Netflix has big, big plans.
As well as branching out into gaming, the streamer is also under pressure to deliver more and more content. With broadcasters and studios increasingly withdrawing their back catalogues from Netflix as they focus on their own in-house streaming services like Hulu and HBO Max, Netflix have to make more and more movies and shows to keep subscribers.
While its initial content push was around building the credibility of the service in industry circles, picking up films from auteur directors and commissioning premium TV series, the streaming market is becoming more competitive, and Netflix is increasingly having to try to find not just the next big hit, but potentially even a show that proves to be an evergreen hit. We may want to watch The Office or Friends again an again, but Netflix does not own this content, and thus has to pay for it to keep those eyeballs on its app. The hunt for content that appeals cross-generation and cross-genre continues – while the investment in gaming sees Netflix understanding it needs to diversify its revenue streams if its to remain competitive at a business level.
That all costs money, and, sadly, we're the ones who are going to have to pick up the tab...
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Tom Goodwyn was formerly TechRadar's Senior Entertainment Editor. He's now a freelancer writing about TV shows, documentaries and movies across streaming services, theaters and beyond. Based in East London, he loves nothing more than spending all day in a movie theater, well, he did before he had two small children…