How Much Does Netflix Cost?

If you don’t have a personal Netflix account, it’s likely someone you know does. (And they might even be nice enough to let you “borrow” it.) It’s one of the larger streaming services available to curious viewers and cord-cutters alike. You get what you pay for — though you can actually choose what that looks like for you.

Here’s how much you might be paying for Netflix every month if you sign up right now — and how you might be able to pay less in the future (maybe).

Why does Netflix cost money?

Netflix

Netflix list | Netflix

There are a lot of great shows and movies on Netflix. But there’s a reason you can’t just sign up and get that content for free. It costs money to make content. It also costs money to obtain the rights to stream content Netflix did not produce. (They paid for all your Friends rewatches. All 10 seasons.)

It’s simple: Netflix charges users monthly because — at least for the time being — it does not force subscribers to view advertisements.

Unlike services such as YouTube, however — which is available to anyone for free, but free of advertisements for those who pay a monthly fee for its Premium membership — Netflix doesn’t have a free-with-commercials option. Your subscription fee pays for the company’s many costs.

Netflix cost: Monthly Netflix plans and prices

How much Netflix will cost you per month depends on the plan that you choose.

Though users can create multiple profiles on the same account for one price — one for you, one for your partner, and another for your partner’s friend who refuses to pay for their own account) — your specific plan determines how many people can stream content simultaneously.

  • Free — New users get a month of Netflix free when they first sign up.
  • Basic ($7.99) — Users can stream movies and shows on one device at a time
  • Standard ($10.99) — Users can stream movies and shows on two screens in HD
  • Premium ($13.99) — Users can stream content on four screens in HD or UltraHD.

On Netflix’s Basic plan, for example, you might have three profiles under the same account, but if you’re upstairs watching Netflix, your partner can’t watch anything via their own profile downstairs at the same time. You would have to stop watching before they could.

There is a possibility that Netflix’s monthly costs could go up — they have before. However, it’s also possible the streaming service could introduce a cheaper plan. Here’s what that might look like.

Will Netflix raise its prices again?

Netflix | Robert Sullivan/AFP/Getty Images

Producing and licensing content is expensive. In order to maintain a profit, it’s possible prices will go up. But maybe not for everyone.

Other streaming services, such as Hulu, offer a lower-priced plan that promises limited commercials, giving users the option to upgrade to remove them.

It’s possible that Netflix will implement a similar strategy in the future. Currently, their cheapest plan still offers a wide selection of movies and shows without commercial advertisements.

For $7.99 per month (what Hulu charges for their limited-commercial plan), for example, someone could potentially gain access to the same content. The only tradeoff would be commercial breaks while streaming, something the service has never done before.

This is not a new concept — you might already be using Spotify’s free plan, for example, which plays commercial ads between songs. Would you willingly pay less for Netflix per month if it meant having to watch ads during your shows, just like traditional TV?