For the first time since October 2020, Netflix is increasing the price of its subscription plans in the United States and Canada.
The streaming service announced on Friday that American subscribers to its basic plan — which allows streaming on one screen at a time and only offers standard definition — will see their monthly bill increase from $8.99 to $9.99. The price of a standard plan, which includes two screens and HD access, has increased from $13.99 to $15.49 per month. And Netflix’s premium subscription plans, which feature Ultra HD, have increased from $17.99 to $19.99 a month.
In Canada, the price of the basic plan remains the same. However, a standard subscription will now cost $16.49 CAD and the cost of a premium subscription has increased to $20.99 CAD per month.
While the changes are effective immediately, the company says all Netflix subscribers will receive a notification via email and the Netflix app 30 days before their first billing date under the new prices.
Netflix has generally increased its prices every year as the company grows. 2021 did not feature a price increase, partially due to the company’s need to drive subscriber growth and compete with other streaming services. This price increase is similar in size to comparable price hikes in 2019 and 2020.
The new prices reflect an increasingly challenging environment for the streaming giant. Subscriber growth has slowed for Netflix in recent months, particularly in America. At the same time, Netflix spends more money on content every year to compete with the plethora of other streaming services on the market. The streamer estimated that it spent $17 billion in 2021 on content production and acquisition, despite subscriber growth being stagnant (and briefly, negative) in the United States and Canada.
And while the company has enjoyed popular success with star-studded projects including “Don’t Look Up,” an increasing reliance on star power inevitably leads to higher expenses (Jennifer Lawrence and Leonardo DiCaprio took home $25 and $30 million paydays alone, respectively, for Adam McKay’s smash hit). Asia, however, has been a massive growth region for Netflix, and the company has signaled plans to increase its investment in Asian television shows.
Netflix stock has fallen nearly 25% since its November 2021 peak. Shares of Netflix stock rose by 1.25% on Friday following the news. The company is scheduled to deliver its quarterly earnings report on January 20.