Netflix: Raising prices for newer content

Correspondent Chandler Bentley talks about Netflix's recent decision to increase rates for certain subscriptions. (Courtesy of Popular Science)Correspondent Chandler Bentley talks about Netflix's recent decision to increase rates for certain subscriptions. (Courtesy of Popular Science)

Chandler Bentley, Correspondent

New year, new Netflix prices? Netflix has recently upped their prices due to new and upcoming material they have coming up throughout 2021.

The company announced this price change in October, and new subscribers started on those prices immediately. Existing subscribers got to wait a little while longer. 

The price for the basic plan remains the same: $8.99 per month. The same, however, cannot be said about the plans with HD quality and more available screens. The standard plan (2 screens + HD) has increased to $13.99 per month from last year’s price at $12.99, and the premium plan (4 screens + Ultra HD) has increased to $17.99 from $15.99.

Throughout 2020, the pandemic forced millions of businesses to shut down — the movie theater business included. The theaters have not been widely available to the public for nearly a year now. Streaming services, however, were awarded a spike in sales and subscriptions from the pandemic. Millions turned their movie tickets in for a subscription to services such as Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, Prime Video, etc. 

While theaters are still suffering, streaming services continue to thrive, and based off of the steady loyalty from Netflix customers, the price of the subscription doesn’t make a huge difference.

So what new material is so worthy of yet another upcharge? 

Netflix has promised an array of new original films and renewed original shows that aren’t going anywhere. While Netflix lost shows like “Dexter” to CBS/Paramount+, “Gossip Girl” to HBO Max and “The Office” to Peacock (which was streamed 57 million minutes worth in 2020 alone according to Screen Rant), they have brand new seasons arriving for hit originals such as “Stranger Things,” “Grace & Frankie,” ‘Outer Banks” and “Cobra Kai.” 

In addition to the new seasons for their original shows, Netflix has promised new shows of all genres, featuring the likes of Ewan McGregor, Nicolas Cage, Colin Kaepernick, Jenna Coleman and more. There will even be two new series for helping you calm down and go to sleep.

And what about original films? Netflix has that covered. The service has promised a new movie every week. 

This is a huge film drop with big names and familiar directors. This drop even includes the directorial debut of Lin-Manuel Miranda and Halle Berry. 

Some big name actors and actresses to look for this year in their new films include Leonardo DiCaprio, Sandra Bullock, Zendaya, Dwayne Johnson, Idris Elba, Meryl Streep, Jennifer Lawrence, Gal Gadot, and Octavia Spencer (to name just a few).

So, can Netflix pull yet another price increase off? Quite frankly, they can. Their sales have not dramatically dropped since the price change in October. 

There was even a spike in sales in late December, almost matching their all-time peak in July. Though Netflix prices are higher than most other streaming services (depending on the plan), they still have the most subscribers by far according to Fox Business. 

Streaming services have been criticized for raising their prices when they were supposed to be cheaper than cable. Each service is by far cheaper than cable television, but if customers subscribe to multiple services, they’re paying just about the same.

With all considered, it’s another win for Netflix while they come into the new year with more success than ever. However, the subscribers get more content than ever before, so they can actually enjoy promising and fresh entertainment to keep them happy with the service. In the end, it seems to be a win all around.

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