What affects your bank balance every month and has just gone up by 25%? We're willing to bet that for most of us, the answer isn't our wages. So it's disappointing but not surprising to see yet another one of the best streaming services joining in the price hike party.
This time it's Discovery Plus. The streamer, which is part of Max, is planning to raise its prices for the very first time. The service's ad-free tier, which currently costs $6.99 per month, is going up by two dollars to $8.99 plus tax. If you're a current subscriber you'll see the increase in your next billing cycle on or after November 2.
There is a small silver lining in this particular cloud though – Discovery Plus' ad-supported tier isn't going up, so it's still going to be $4.99 per month. Phew. This is a welcome relief as Netflix is rumored to be raising its global prices again soon.
Everything's getting more expensive
Two bucks a month might not seem like a lot, but in the wider context it's part of a bigger problem for consumers. To get a decent range of shows and movies you can't just subscribe to a single service. So if you've got Netflix, it's about to go up in price. If you have Disney Plus or Hulu that's going up too. And if you have Prime Video, then Amazon's about to put ads in your streams and demand money to get rid of them.
What all of these price increases have in common is that they're all inflation-busting. The average price increase is between 20% and 25% across the services. As we wrote in response to the latest Disney price hikes, we "can't help but feel these price increases, plus the roll out of Disney Plus' ads subscription in Canada and Europe, are unwarranted, particularly as families struggle to make ends meet, and the ongoing writers and actors strikes rumble on".
|Row 0 - Cell 0||Ad supported||Ad free|
|Prime Video||$8.99 (ad free until 2024)||$14.99|
The problem I have with this is that the content doesn't appear to be getting 20% to 25% better. Now I've binged the second season of The Bear, laughed through two seasons of The Lincoln Lawyer, finished Yellowjackets and suspended my disbelief to enjoy UK boat cop drama Annika, there is literally nothing on the streaming services that I'm desperate to watch – and in some cases, the shows I'm excited about aren't going to be streaming for months.
I think for many of us the coming months are going to make us much more selective about our streaming, canceling or shelving subscriptions until there's enough to justify the ever-increasing prices.
The streamers are playing a dangerous game here. While they appear to be egging each other on by imposing ever-larger prices on their subscribers, I think their pursuit of short-term revenues could damage the wider sector. It feels like we're approaching the point where many of us will want to stop or at least suspend some of our streaming subs like we previously cut the cable cord.
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Writer, broadcaster, musician and kitchen gadget obsessive Carrie Marshall (Twitter) has been writing about tech since 1998, contributing sage advice and odd opinions to all kinds of magazines and websites as well as writing more than a dozen books. Her memoir, Carrie Kills A Man, is on sale now. She is the singer in Glaswegian rock band HAVR.