Netflix raises standard prices — again

Maria McGinnis

The cost of entertainment just got a little higher: Netflix announced it will be increasing its standard plan price by $2.

This price change will increase the monthly subscription fee to $13, as opposed to the previous $11.

At the time of the announcement in January, current subscribers were made to expect the price increase to go into effect by April; new customers will experience the price change immediately.

Netflix subscribers are no strangers to the company raising its prices. The last time the monthly subscription increased was in 2017, when the cost of the standard plan raised from $9.99 to $10.99.

Netflix raised its prices this time around to “stockpile for the streaming wars” and afford to create more original content and better compete with other streaming services such as Hulu, Disney and Amazon, according to Wired.

“On the surface, it does seem to be a bit of jeopardy to increase prices when the competitive services are coming,” said Tony Gunnarsson, the principal analyst at Ovum who is focused on the streaming media business.

Netflix will be competing with the new Disney+ streaming service, projected to launch later this year. Disney+ will also be pulling all of the Marvel, Star Wars and other Disney-owned entertainment from Netflix.

Jenna Miley, a junior studio arts major, has both Netflix and Hulu. A monthly subscription for both Hulu and Spotify is $4.99 a month with the student discount.

“If I had to choose to pay for one, I guess I’d probably choose Hulu,” Miley said. “Because it’s a lot cheaper and offers Spotify and Showtime with it.”

T.J. November, a junior environmental studies major, also chose Hulu over Netflix, but feels the Netflix originals are worth the price hike.

“I think I would pick Hulu because of the show options. They have options on Hulu now that used to be on Netflix that Netflix got rid of for whatever reason,” November said. “But, I do like the Netflix originals a lot so I think it’d be worth it.”

The first episode of what is arguably Netflix’s most successful original show, Stranger Things, was watched by 15.8 million people in its first three days of streaming, according to the New York Times.

“I guess the Netflix originals are more successful than the Hulu originals for the most part, so I would say (the price) is justifiable,” Miley said. “But, there’s a certain point where (Netflix) is just gouging people for money.”

BTIG media analyst Rich Greenfield told CNN Business as long as Netflix continues offering content that is worth the price, consumers will continue to pay for the streaming service as the cost increases.

“If you keep adding more content that people like then the price point is a moving target, there isn’t really a ceiling,” Greenfield said.

Despite Greenfield’s analysis, both Miley and November agree paying $20 or more for Netflix would be out of the question.

November said as soon as the price goes over $20, it will become a little unreasonable and asking too much.

“If it got to a point where it was too much where (my family) couldn’t really afford to pay for it each month then we would definitely get rid of it, I’d say about $20,” Miley said. “I mean, right now it’s getting to be a ridiculous price as opposed to what it was maybe two years ago.”

Nearly 92 percent of college students have a Netflix subscription.

Maria McGinnis is the technology reporter. Contact her at [email protected].