Netflix increases prices for UK subscribers
The Crown is going to cost you more.
Following price rises in the US announced earlier this year, which are now coming into effect, Netflix has followed suit for UK subscribers of two of its three tiers.With the imminent rollout of Apple TV+ and Disney+ streaming services, one might be forgiven for thinking that keeping your prices competitively low would be the obvious strategy. Not so, in fact Netflix are now following price increases in the US and Latin America by upping the standard UK package from £8.99 per month to £9.99 per month and by adding an extra £2 per month to the premium band taking it to £11.99 per month.
The entry-level basic tier remain unchanged at £5.99 per month but this only gives viewers a standard definition experience on a single device, which is useful if viewing habits are largely based around hand-held devices or laptops etc but not if Netflix is part of the main home entertainment armoury.
Indeed, according to a report in the Guardian, Netflix is fully aware that the majority of its customers take out a standard subscription which allows high definition viewing and two devices to be used simultaneously, thereby capturing an extra £1 per month from the large majority of its 10 million UK consumers. Users of the premium subscription tier face a 20% increase, the largest across the tiers, and, for that, they can watch up to 4 devices simultaneously and have access to ultra-high definition and Dolby Atmos supported content.
New subscribers will immediately be put onto the new rates while existing customers will face the increases in “the coming weeks.”’ It’s expected that other western European countries will soon face similar increases.
These are the first price hikes since 2017 and come amid a rapidly changing streaming environment. With Apple and Disney both rolling out streaming services later in the year, Netflix is finding itself with a dearth of licensed content as media companies claw back their precious properties for their own services.
To counter this content crisis, Netflix has been spending the last few years investing in original programming to create their own properties that have audience brand recognition and there can be few TV viewers who haven’t at least heard of The Crown, Black Mirror or Stranger Things.
Supporting these endeavours requires serious investment and that’s where these subscription increases come in, supporting Netflix’s promised $15 billion of investment in programming which is on top of an operating debt of $30 billion
It’s still a bit of a gamble though as Disney+ hits the US with a monthly charge half that of Netflix at $6.99, and armed with a stable full of fan favourites such as Marvel, Star Wars and Pixar, all of which will enable the House of Mouse to come out of the gates swinging.
In a statement to the Guardian, a Netflix spokesperson said, “We change our prices from time to time to reflect the significant investments we’ve made in new TV shows and films, as well as improvements to our product.”
They went on to explain that the service remains, “great value for money compared to other options on offer in the UK,” and that there are “more than 50 productions planned in the UK this year, including new seasons of Black Mirror, Sex Education and After Life.”
Image Source: www.foreignpolicyi.org
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