When Will Netflix’s Price Increase Affect You?
A large group of Netflix’s longtime customers are going to start paying a little bit more for their subscriptions. While people are already complaining about the price hike, few of them would actually consider canceling their subscriptions and missing out on their favorite shows and movies. Especially not after they’ve figured out Netflix’s hidden categories or found some favorite apps to discover the best content on the streaming service.
But if you’re confused about when Netflix is going to start charging you more for your subscription, you’re not alone. The price hike is a little bit confusing. Chris Welch reports for The Verge that eventually we’re all going to be paying $9.99 for a Netflix subscription (at least until the price goes up again). Starting in May, a large number of Netflix customers will see their monthly subscription move from $7.99 to $9.99, the price that new customers have been getting charged since last October.
But before that price hike, Netflix had announced a different increase — from $7.99 to $8.99 — in May 2014, and at the time promised to let existing customers keep paying $7.99 for another two years. And that’s why many Netflix customers — Mashable’s Patrick Kulp reports that the figure is around 17 million Netflix users — will see their subscription cost rise from $7.99 to $9.99 in May. Netflix has stated that it will email affected customers to alert them to the price increase, since most people won’t remember an announcement that Netflix made two years ago.
The upshot? If you subscribed before May 2014, Netflix will begin charging you $9.99 in May. If you subscribed after May 2014, then you were impacted by the original jump from $7.99 to $8.99. For you, the $9.99 subscription price won’t take effect until October. And if you don’t remember when you subscribed or are just confused about how much you’re paying, you can always log in to your Netflix account and visit the account settings page. There, Netflix will tell you how long your price plan is guaranteed; that’s the date after which you’ll start paying more for your subscription.
Welch notes that he won’t be canceling his Netflix subscription over a $2 increase, and chances are good that that’s true for many people faced with the price increase. $9.99 is still within a price range that most users will consider reasonable, and the story would likely be different if Netflix increased the price of a standard plan to $14.99 or $19.99. Even though Netflix’s movie catalog is shrinking, more users now name Netflix over HBO as the home of superior original programming.
However, Mashable reports that the price hike may come as news to most of the affected customers, according to a J.P. Morgan note shared by Business Insider, which found that 80% of subscribers surveyed weren’t aware of the increase. Of the people surveyed, 15% told J.P. Morgan that they were ready to cancel their subscription over the price change, but UBS Investment Bank’s analysts guess that only about 3% or 4% will follow through on that threat, reports Business Insider. An analyst wrote that it’s uncommon for consumers to admit that they’re willing to pay more for services, even when those services are as essential to people’s weekend routines as Netflix’s streaming service.