Originally posted Wednesday, January 16, 2019 by RODNEY HOemail@example.com on his AJC Radio & TV Talk blog
Netflix, by far the largest streaming service on Earth, is raising its subscription rates to help cover its escalating costs to develop original content and pay for acquired films and TV shows.
On a percentage basis, the increases are about 13 to 18 percent depending on the package, the biggest ever in Netflix’s decade-long history.
The most basic non-HD subscription rises from $7.99 to $8.99. The most common HD subscription with two simultaneous streams rises from $10.99 to $12.99. The premium version with 4K speed and up to four streams goes from $13.99 to $15.99.
Still, folks get a lot of content for the money.
Netflix spent a whopping $12 to $13 billion on content in 2018, according to industry estimates, with new money going to originals such as “Black Mirror,” “Fuller House,” “Making a Murderer” and “Bird Box.”
It has produced several shows in metro Atlanta including “Stranger Things,” “The Haunting of Hill House,” “Queer Eye” and “Ozark.” Upcoming: a Dolly Parton anthology and “Raising Dion,” produced by Michael B. Jordan.
The company released about 80 original feature films last year and has more than 700 television shows in its coffers. It has signed deals with Shonda Rhimes, Ryan Murphy and the Obamas, to name a few.
This recent “SNL” skit is not far off from reality:
As of the third quarter of last year, Netflix had 58.46 million U.S. subscribers, up from 52.77 million in the third quarter of 2017.
The price hikes take effect immediately for new customers and will be phased in for existing ones.
The last time it raised prices was in 2017.
Not that this is scaring competitors. Its current biggest rivals include Hulu, Amazon Prime, YouTube Premium, HBOGo and CBS All Access. And now Disney and AT&T are planning their own streaming services. Apple - which is shooting Spielberg’s “Amazing Stories” in Atlanta right now - is rumored to be getting in the game as well.