Netflix plans to join wave of streaming price increases

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As part of a trend among streaming services, Netflix will jack up the price of ad-free streaming soon.
As part of a trend among streaming services, Netflix will jack up the price of ad-free streaming soon.
Photo: Netflix

With the writers and actors strikes now over if tentative agreements hold, Netflix plans to raise its ad-free streaming subscription price soon, joining other streaming platforms in doing so, a report said Tuesday.

Netflix to jack ad-free subscription price as other streamers do the same

Netflix plans to raise ad-free subscription prices “a few months” after the end of the writers and actors strikes, The Wall Street Journal reported. It said the streamer would likely raise the rate in several markets, starting with the United States and Canada.

How much more Netflix will charge or when it will do so are not known, however. Netflix declined to comment, WSJ said. The last time Netflix increased prices was January 2022. It started an ad-supported tier at $6.99 in November 2022.

Instead, Netflix has focused recently on cracking down on password-sharing in hopes of generating new accounts while other streamers have jacked prices. And Netflix dropped its basic, $9.99 ad-free tier earlier this year.

Ad-free streaming gets pricier

The report said the cost of ad-free streaming has gone up about 25% in roughly the past year. That makes streamers want to jack prices and tempt consumers with ad-supported plans. The report noted:

Next week, the prices of the ad-free versions of Disney’s streaming platforms—Disney+, Hulu and ESPN+—are officially going up, an increase the company announced during the summer. It marks the second time since last fall that Disney raised prices, following a string of similar announcements by the owners of Peacock, Max, Paramount+ and Apple TV+.

Exclusive programming

Want to watch Lionel Messi? Check out the Leagues Cup on MLS Season Pass.
Want to watch Lionel Messi? Check out the Leagues Cup on MLS Season Pass.
Image: Apple

And streamers also seek to ad new content, like live sports. Apple TV+ did it, for example, with MLS Season Pass at $12.99 per month for Apple TV+ subscribers ($14.99 for non-subscribers). Now Disney+ may add sports and Warner Bros’ Max service will, too, at $9.99 per month.

The bottom line is that streaming services lost a lot of money racing to add content while charging low prices to grow faster than competitors. Now a correction is underway. Ad support more than makes up for the lower subscription cost of ad-supported tiers, making them more profitable-per-user than ad-free tiers.

“We’re obviously trying with our pricing strategy to migrate more subs to the advertiser-supported tier,” the report quoted Disney Chief Executive Bob Iger as saying in August on an investor call.

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