The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) states in a new report the company is currently “discussing raising prices in several markets globally” with the rollout likely to start in the US and Canada. It’s unknown how much the bump will be nor does The Wall Street Journal know when it’ll exactly begin. Netflix is keeping its lips sealed as it has refused multiple inquiries from media outlets. However, the WSJ says the streaming platform plans on raising costs “ a few months after the continuing Hollywood actors strike ends”.
At the time of this writing, SAG-AFTRA (Screen Actors Guild – American Federation of Television and Radio Artists) is still on strike although it may end soon. The guild has recently met with the heads of Hollywood’s four major production studios as both sides attempt to make a deal. Assuming the protest does end sooner than expected, this could put the Netflix price hike sometime in early 2024 as the platform continues to drive up revenue.
This past year and a half or so has seen Netflix enact multiple money-making strategies. It all began back in March 2022 when the platform bumped up the prices for all its subscription tiers. Then we saw the implementation of the ad-supported tier, the controversial password-sharing crackdown, and the death of the Basic plan in certain countries.
That last one could be considered a second increase as it forced users to get either the more expensive Standard tier or the Standard with ads subscription to keep their service.
Analysis: The next gamble
Why, we wonder, is Netflix enacting a fourth strategy after the strike ends?
It’s possible the company has been wanting to implement another increase but couldn’t find a good reason to justify it to its subscribers. One online theory we’ve seen floating around argues that Netflix will use the returning actors and writers from the WGA (Writers Guild of America) strike as justification for the hike. With all the new demands and content, the platform can claim it will need to gather more money from users to pay for everything. Even though the WGA’s calculations reveal the updated “contract will amount to just 0.2 percent of Netflix’s annual revenue.”
Now for the next question: will the upcoming hike be too much for subscribers? When the password-sharing crackdown began, debates raged online claiming, “This is the death of Netflix”. However, the opposite happened: the service’s subscriber count grew 236 percent. The gamble paid off for them – at least, in the short term. It could be a different story in the long haul. Rising costs may finally prompt people to start canceling their subscriptions en masse. Netflix might end up with egg on its face, and realize it took things too far.
Of course, we don’t know, but we’ll definitely keep an eye on things as they develop.
While we have you, be sure to check out TechRadar’s list of the best 39 films worth watching on Netflix in October 2023.