“Streaming” columnist NICK OVERALL is pretty sure Netflix is about to tickle its subscribers’ wallets yet again with an imminent rise on the horizon now the Hollywood writers’ strike is over.
NETFLIX could soon be hiking up their subscription prices yet again.
A report published in “The Wall Street Journal” says the streaming giant has plans to lift its fees a few months after the end of the Hollywood writers’ strike.
It comes on the back of a slew of price hikes in the last few years, October 2017, January 2019, October 2020 and January 2022 to name them.
Earlier this year the platform also sparked outrage when it cracked down on password sharing.
Subscribers were made to dish out an additional eight bucks a month if they wanted to share their account with someone from another household.
Still reeling from that controversy, it’s unsurprising that news of Netflix asking users to open their wallets yet again has been met with uproar.
“If they raise the prices again, I swear I’m gonna cancel my subscription,” said one Twitter user. Sorry – “X” user.
“I guess I’m gonna binge watch the rest of the new ‘One Piece’ and then cancel, it’s the only reason I have it at this point,” said another.
“Goodbye”, tweeted a third.
Netflix’s cheapest plan without ads is currently $15.49 a month, whereas if users are willing to put up with commercials they can pay $6.99 a month.
The new price is reportedly going to affect the ad-free option.
At this stage it’s unclear how much the cost will be, but if previous price hikes are anything to go by we could see the subscription price approach the $20-a-month mark. That’s a far cry from 10 years ago when the platform first launched and would only set subscribers back eight dollars a month.
With the cost of living skyrocketing, paying close to $20 for Netflix will be asking a little too much for many subscribers, especially with also paying for several other streaming subscriptions such as Disney Plus, Binge and Spotify.
So why is Netflix raising their fees yet again?
While the streaming platform has remained quiet since the news broke, it can be speculated that it will be in response to the Hollywood writers’ strike which has just wrapped up.
For 148 days thousands of writers for popular movies and television walked off the job, days demanding they be paid more and it now looks like they’ve got their wish.
“We can say, with great pride, that this deal is exceptional – with meaningful gains and protections for writers in every sector of the membership,” the Writers Guild of America told those striking in an email.
While the outcome seems like a big win for writers, it may be a loss for streaming subscribers with the cost of those pay rises potentially passed on to the people who watch the shows.
It’s likely Netflix has decided to wait a few months before lifting the fees to create as much distance as possible from their controversial password sharing changes.
The platform is also seeing a slower upload of content due to the strike, with production of movies and television shows coming to a grinding halt.
That means delays for some of Netflix’s flagship shows, such as the hugely anticipated fifth and final season of “Stranger Things” as well as “Cobra Kai”, “Emily In Paris”, “Big Mouth” and “Outer Banks” just to name a few.
With less content hitting the platform, a price rise now would likely even further frustrate subscribers. It would seem the platform is waiting for production to kick back into gear when the writers return before breaking the bad news themselves.
It will be interesting to see how Netflix’s subscriber base reacts to the price hike if and probably when it happens.
One X user amusingly observed: “Blockbuster this is your time to come back.”
Stranger things, indeed.