When Will the Netflix Price Hike Go Into Effect?

Netflix remains the king of the modern streaming landscape, but its claim on the throne is far from secure. Services like Disney+ and HBO Max have been making massive moves to attract subscribers in recent weeks, threatening Netflix’s spot at the top.

In a move that could potentially spurn some users, Netflix confirmed in September that it would be raising the prices for its most popular plans. For new subscribers, the price hike has already gone into effect. Now, existing members have begun to get alerts about when their monthly charges will increase.

Netflix is raising subscription rates $1-2

Netflix
In this photo illustration a Netflix content platform logo seen displayed on a smartphone. | Filip Radwanski/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

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New email alerts have been sent to existing Netflix subscribers that the new price hike will soon be reflected on their accounts. The increase will go into effect during January. Members will be charged the new amount on whatever day of the month their subscription renews.

Whatever the real intention behind this price hike is will likely never be known. For their part, Netflix claims that this increase is to better allow the company to produce original content.

“This update will allow us to deliver even more value for your membership,” Netflix’s email alert reads. “With stories that lift you up, move you or simply make your day a little better.”

Specific plans will increase by different amounts. The standard plan – which allows HD streaming on up to 2 accounts – will increase by $1 to $13.99 a month. The premium plan – which allows 4K HDR streaming on up to 4 accounts, will increase by $2 to $17.99.

Streaming is liable to getting costlier as the arms race picks up

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Netflix isn’t alone in raising its prices, as Disney+ is also set to raise its price sometime in March 2021, according to CNN. This increase is believed to be by only $1, bringing the service’s cost to $7.99 a month. Disney has said that an increase like this will be necessary in order to meet its ambitious production goals and reach profitability by 2024.

Disney confirmed plans for a price hike after its massive Dec. 10 investor call. At this event, it announced plans for a huge swath of original series from Star Wars, Marvel Studios, Pixar, and more. These projects, while certain to draw huge audiences, are also certain to cost a pretty penny to produce.

Netflix will continue to release a broad variety of originals moving forward in 2021. This includes new seasons of smash hits like Stranger Things, The Umbrella Academy, The Witcher, and The Crown. It is also producing major new originals based on properties like Resident Evil, The Chronicles of Narnia, DC’s Sandman, and Cowboy Bebop.

As of Q2 2020, Netflix had nearly 193 million paid subscribers worldwide. Disney+, meanwhile, boasted over 80 million as of the investor call, well above projections for its first year. The gap between the two services remains significant, but Disney+ is considered to have the momentum to potentially surpass Netflix in the next few years.