Canadians will need to save a few more pennies (rather, nickels) to pay for their monthly Netflix subscription soon, as the streaming service has confirmed that a price hike is now in effect for new members, and will be applied to existing accounts in the coming weeks.
If you're a Netflix subscriber of the basic, standard, or premium plan, keep an eye out for an e-mail notifying you of the price switch. A basic plan, which only permits SD streaming on one screen at a time, will be going up to $8.99/mo. from $7.99/mo. Also rising by a buck is the standard plan, which will now be $10.99/mo. and continue to offer the ability to watch series and movies on two screens at a time. The biggest hike, however, will be seem with premium plan subscribers, who will soon be paying $2 more per month to be able to watch four simultaneous streams, as well as ultra HD 4K content. That package will set you back $13.99/mo.
The last time Netflix increased its pricing in Canada was almost two years ago, when each package rose by a dollar. The increase this time, says Netflix, is in an effort to help bolster its content and services. Netflix has, of course, been investing heavily in its own original series, in addition to acquiring exclusive streaming rights for series from other networks. And while Netflix arguably faces far more competition in the streaming TV space in the U.S. versus Canada, services like Amazon Prime Video and CraveTV are giving the company a run for its money. Because Bell owns The Movie Network (TMN), which in turn owns HBO Canada, CraveTV has exclusive streaming rights to some of the most high-profile back catalogue series, including True Detective, The Wire, The Sopranos, and the newly-rebooted Twin Peaks. CraveTV has also inked deals with Showtime, and Netflix competitor stateside Hulu to offer its streaming originals, like The Handmaid's Tale. Meanwhile, Amazon Prime Video, which launched in Canada late last year, offer its slate of popular original series and movies in Canada like Sneaky Pete, Goliath, and Manchester by the Sea, and has acquired Canadian streaming rights for popular network shows like Mr. Robot and American Gods. Most recently, Netflix will have to compete with CBS Corp., which confirmed that it would launch its CBS All Access streaming service north ofthe border next year.
In a recent article, the Los Angeles Times questioned whether Netflix could continue "burning through" cash. This bump in pricing could add a significant among of revenue to the company's bottom line. Will it be invested back into offering more content for Canadian customers, specifically, or in improving the experience overall? We'll just have to wait and see. But with an estimated more than 5 million Canadian Netflix subscribers, you can do the math to see how much money this new price hike will bring in annually.