Netflix raises prices – will other services follow?

A lot of people cut the cable and satellite cord hoping to save money. Now Netflix subscribers will be paying a little more. The popular streaming service (which at peak usage takes up about half the bandwidth available on the Internet) is hiking the price of its most popular plan from $9.99 to $10.99 a month. The cost of their Premium plan, which offers 4K streaming and viewing on 4 screens will increase $2 to $13.  The lowest tier plan, which doesn’t offer HD viewing and is limited to one screen will remain at $7.99. New subscribers will pay the increase now. Current subscribers will get the price hike in November.


Some thought this might prompt other services to raise their prices as well, but competitor Hulu is taking the opportunity to lower their prices. Hulu is cutting the price of their lowest-level plan to $5.99 a month from $7.99 for a new user’s first year. The offer is only available for new users and is only for one year. Unlike Netflix, which is commercial-free, this level of Hulu includes commercials. There’s no discount available for Hulu’s ad-free level, which costs $12 per month.

This may not be the last price increase that streaming customers see. As streaming goes in popularity it faces the same challenges that cable and satellite companies face: content providers demanding more for programming, the cost of maintaining a growing infrastructure, and increasing competition from other streaming services.  For example, CBS has launched its own streaming service where it offers original programs like Star Trek: Discovery and a library of CBS shows like NCIS. 

Do you subscribe to a streaming service like Netflix, Amazon Prime, or Hulu?  Do you think you get a good value for your money?  Let us know in the comments.

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