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Is Netflix Teasing Even More Price Hikes After Dropping Its Cheapest Plan? Why I'm Worried Despite The Subscriber Wins

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Netflix logo banner.

Netflix’s 2024 releases have us looking forward to what the streaming service has in store. Not to mention, the streamer is continuing to be the center of attention during award season with it being the place to watch many of this year's 2024 Oscar nominees, including Maestro, Nyad, May December, Society of the Snow, and more. However, with good news comes the bad, and while the popular service is celebrating its subscriber surge, its cheapest plan is preparing to be dropped, and I’m worried this means we’ll be experiencing more price hikes.

The streaming pioneer hasn’t been a stranger to price raises. In October, Netflix raised its price yet again for its basic plan, going from $9.99 to $11.99. Its Premium plan also went up $10 from $11.99 to $22.99. A Standard plan can provide subscribers with HD unlimited ad-free movies, TV shows, and mobile games on two supported devices with the option to add one member who doesn’t live with you for $15.49 a month. Premium is similar, with the exception of watching what’s on your Netflix subscription on four supported devices with the option to add two extra members who don’t live with you at $7.50 more.

In a shareholder letter revealing Netflix’s Q4 2023 earnings, the numbers reported good news for its jump in subscribers. However, there was also news that Netflix would get rid of the basic plan -- its cheapest one. This worries me as it could mean we’ll be on the brink of yet another price hike from our beloved streaming platform.

Netflix Teases The Possibility Of Another Price Hike

Netflix has provided subscribers with some the best streaming movies of the past year like Extraction 2, They Cloned Tyrone, The Deepest Breath, and May December. Plus, the streaming service’s 2023 TV premieres were great too, with fans tuning in for the final season of The Crown, new shows like One Piece, and returning seasons of anticipated series like Black Mirror and Heartstopper. But, Netflix explained in its shareholder letter that to continue delivering high-quality content, subscribers have to pay a little more than they are already:

As we invest in and improve Netflix, we’ll occasionally ask our members to pay a little extra to reflect those improvements, which in turn helps drive the positive flywheel of additional investment to further improve and grow our service.

Another reason subscribers could be experiencing an increase in pricing could have to do with Netflix “retiring” its basic plan in some of its ad countries which started in Canada and the UK.

In the US, you can see on Netflix’s plan and pricing that the basic plan is no longer available for new or returning members. Those who currently have the basic plan will be on it until the pricing changes or the account is canceled.

Just when we thought spending $15.49 or $22.99 a month for a plan was a lot, it freaks me out that these numbers could get higher than that. As the prices keep climbing, and the most affordable plan says goodbye, I’m worried about what this will do to my and other subscribers' monthly spending.

The Number Of Netflix Subscribers Surges

While it may be disappointing to see another potential price hike, the streaming service simultaneously celebrated a win by seeing an increase in subscribers. According to the shareholder letter, the company experienced a 13 million subscriber surge and a 12.5% year-by-year revenue increase. In its Q4 2023 earnings report, the company reported it got over 260 million subscribers. This is a big deal considering its previous quarters only jumped in single-digit millions.

This must mean Netflix’s password-sharing crackdown is working as many people have had to create new accounts. Based on the plan you pick, only a certain number of “extra members” can be added to your plan who aren’t under the same Wi-Fi. Plus, the option of its standard plan with ads being $6.99 a month also likely pulled in new subscribers who didn't want to pay double digits monthly.

Netflix may have had a big win in subscribers, but I’m still worried about what that could mean for the streaming service’s hike in pricing plans going forward. From a business standpoint, the success of a product means increasing its value. But with a higher price, hopefully, that means a growth in film and TV quality that will continue to keep subscribers entertained. Take a look at our Netflix new releases so you don’t miss out on your next favorite movie or TV series coming to your subscription.