If you’re a streaming subscriber of Netflix, you’ve been paying $7.99 a month for going on three years now, and you know what? Given the huge amount of television shows that you are given access to, and your ability to use Netflix as an inexpensive babysitter, $8 a month is a goddamn steal. But you should prepare yourself to pay more, according to The Atlantic“>The Atlantic, and truthfully, a modest price hike is not unreasonable.
During a discussion last week with Netflix CEO Reed Hastings, he dropped a few hints suggesting that not only is a price hike coming, but pricing options may be in our future. The service is already offering a $6.99 plan to subscribers, which only allows streaming on one platform, but Hastings also suggested a “good, better, best price tiering” structure may soon arrive for new subscribers. Hastings also offered that Netflix is “willing to take on a slightly richer offering and realizing that that might be better for consumers and for us.”
What does that mean? It may mean that new subscribers can get the $7.99 subscription fee (or the $6.99 fee for one platform), but that option may no longer be the best one. Netflix, it appears, is preparing to offer a premium option, and since Netflix is already offering everything we could want from the service for $7.99, it’s safe to assume that that that option may soon be hit with some limitations that may compel new subscribers to pay the premium tier option. What might those limitations be? Who knows? A limit to the number of hours one can stream per month, or delayed access to certain shows, or perhaps certain original programming will be only available to premium subscribers?
Existing subscribers, however, will likely be spared from paying for a premium subscription, at least initially. As Hastings says, “we’re trying to figure out some models of good, better, best price tiering that makes sense and provide some flexibility for our customers, at least for our new customers. Our existing customers of course we would grandfather very generously.”
So, if you’ve been putting off a Netflix subscription, now may be a good time to subscribe, so that you’re grandfathered in before the price hikes. However, one would imagine that, after 3 years of $7.99 access, even existing subscribers may face a modest price increase, if only so that Netflix can continue pouring money into new programming. With competition from Hulu and Amazon, right now it’s Netflix’s original programming — which is leaps and bounds above the other streaming services — that makes it the most compelling service. It’s not terribly unfair to ask us to pay $9 or $10 a month, which still makes it a far better deal than cable.
Source: The Atlantic