Netflix is becoming one of the more expensive streaming services on the market. On Friday, the basic plan in the US jumped from $9 to $10, the standard plan to $15.49, up from $13.99, and the premium plan to $20 — a $2 increase. Netflix said it’s making the change so that it can continue offering more entertainment options.
New customers will see these price increases immediately, and they’ll make their way to existing customers “over the coming weeks,” Netflix said. Current customers will get an email notification 30 days before their prices change, according to Netflix’s Plans and Pricing page.
The increases place Netflix squarely in a battle with HBO Max for the title of the highest-priced streaming service. Both Netflix and HBO Max offer a $10 basic tier that comes with more limited service. Netflix’s basic service only allows one stream at a time, and though it is ad-free, it lacks the ability to stream in high definition. Meanwhile, HBO’s entry-level service does come with HD, but includes ads. It also lacks the ability to access the first-run movies that appear in theaters and simultaneously on the streaming service.
The standard services for both streaming companies offer full access to HD, ad-free content. HBO Max offers four simultaneous streams with select titles in ultra HD for $15, while Netflix only gives users two streams and standard HD for $15.49. Netflix users will need to pay for the $20 premium service to watch on four screens at the same time or get access to ultra HD content. That makes Netflix’s standard plan the most expensive streaming plan with HD on the market, passing HBO Max.
Netflix has been facing increasing competition from streaming services from Apple, Disney and Amazon, as well as from more traditional networks like Paramount, HBO and NBC Universal. But so far, Netflix’s stated viewing numbers have been massive. The company tracks the total hours viewed in the first 28 days of each title’s release. Season 1 of hit show Squid Game got 1.65 billion hours of watch time, while the first season of Bridgerton reached 625 million hours.
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