Briefing

Netflix rolls out biggest-ever price hike for U.S. streaming subscribers

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The streaming giant’s most popular plan will increase by 18 per cent, from US$11 per month to US$13. Its basic plan will increase by 13 per cent, from US$8 per month to US$9. This is the fourth time Netflix has raised its prices in the U.S.—the last was in late 2017—but it’s the first time increases will hit all 58 million of its U.S. users. It is not currently raising prices for Canadian users. (Associated Press)

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Talking point: While the increases help Netflix become sustainable, the company built up its massive consumer base partially through its original low-cost plans. By continuing to increase prices, the platform risks losing its customers and alienating new users. Its premium, ultra-HD plan now costs US$16 per month, while the once-pricier HBO Now is US$14.99 per month. Netflix has spent aggressively—up to US$8 billion in 2018—on original content and programming to distinguish itself from competitors like Amazon and Disney. The extra funds will be used to help finance the heavy debt the platform has amassed. Investors seemed to like the move—as of publication time, Netflix stocks were up 6.5 per cent.