What’s the deal with Netflix’s price hike, am I right?
No, seriously, have you heard about this? Apparently, starting next month Netflix is going to quietly upgrade its oldest customers to a more expensive subscription plan. It’ll now cost two more dollars per month for those customers. Yeah, I know. It’s a complete outrage. No one’s been more upset about $2 since that little kid from Better Off Dead.
Here are the facts, from BusinessInsider:
“Netflix will raise prices on about 17 million of its standard accounts starting next month, and most people have no idea. In May 2014, Netflix began to raise the price of its standard streaming plan for new subscribers, first to $8.99 a month, then to $9.99 a month last October. Existing subscribers, however, were grandfathered in at $7.99 a month for the two-stream, “HD” quality plan. Next month, these grandfathered customers will begin to be moved up to $9.99 for the standard plan.”
This will affect 37% of Netflix’s US subscribers, and 80% of them were completely in the dark about this forthcoming price hike when they were recently surveyed by JPMorgan.
What exactly is this “Standard” plan so many of us are being un-grandfathered into? It means we can only watch on two screens at a time, and we only have access to HD, not UltraHD. Otherwise, it’s exactly the same as before other than the price.
It’s not ideal, but it’s not unexpected. It was only a matter of time before the grandfathered customers were forced into the newer tiered subscription plans. After all, Netflix President Ted Sarando’s world domination plans include producing over 600 hours of original content this year, with over 30 scripted programs. Someone’s got to pay for that.
Will you stick around to see all of the new shows? About 15% of those surveyed by JPMorgan said they would cancel, but experts aren’t buying it. They think that, at most, 4% of the affected subscribers will cancel because of the increased cost.
However, they might have a bigger reason to cancel than simply having to pay two more dollars a month now. Just in terms of content, we are genuinely paying for less than we used to get from Netflix. According to AllFlicks:
The statistics are simple and remarkable: in January of 2014, Netflix offered its US-based users a selection of 6,494 movies and 1,609 TV shows, for a total of 8,103 titles. As of March 23, 2016, they offer just 4,335 movies and 1,197 TV shows – 5,532 titles in total. That’s 2,571 fewer titles. In other words, Netflix’s catalog has shrunk 31.7% in less than two and a half years!
However, will you seriously cancel your membership because Netflix is shrinking its overall catalog at an alarming rate? If you don’t have Netflix how ever will you make sense of your Twitter feed every weekend when the entire world seems to collectively stop, watch and talk about the latest binge-worthy Netflix original. You don’t want to be left out of that conversation, do you?
Netflix’s stated goal has long since been to turn us all into slavish addicts. Now they’re going to secretly raise prices on nearly 40% of its customers. They’ll get away with it because we all need our fix, and understand that $2 is not an insanely larger amount to be paying per month for increased access to the movie/TV nirvana that is sweet lady Netflix.
But, no, seriously, have you watched The Ranch yet? It’s surprisingly good. Did you notice that they just added Animaniacs?
I’m sorry, Netflix. I didn’t mean those bad things I said about you. Will you ever forgive me?