Netflix boosts prices for US subscribers

NEW YORK (AFP) – Netflix unveiled plans last Tuesday to boost prices for United States (US) subscribers, a move that helped lift shares of the streaming television giant which now faces an array of new competitors.

The California-based company, which has nearly half of its 130 million paid members in the US, will raise the price of its most popular streaming plan with high-definition video by 18 per cent to USD12.99 per month.

Netflix will also be boosting prices of some other subscription plans and will apply those rates to Latin America and Caribbean countries where it bills customers in US dollars.

Netflix shares rose six per cent in morning trade on the news.

“We change pricing from time to time as we continue investing in great entertainment and improving the overall Netflix experience for the benefit of our members,” Netflix said in a statement.

The company has been investing heavily in original content including hit shows like Stranger Things, The Crown and Orange Is The New Black, as it faces competition from the likes of Amazon and Hulu, and new offerings from traditional media giants such as Disney, CBS, and a newly announced plan from Comcast-owned NBCUniversal.

The price hike, which takes effect on Tuesday for new customers, does not affect Netflix subscribers in other regions. Existing customers will get 30 days’ notice before the new pricing takes effect.

Netflix offers US customers a “basic” version which will increase to USD8.99 from USD7.99 and a plan for those getting “ultra high” definition video which will increase to USD15.99 from USD13.99.

Netflix logo is displayed on an iPhone in Philadelphia. – AP