Netflix reportedly plans to raise the price of its ad-free subscription tier after the Hollywood actors strike ends. The streaming service reportedly wants to hike prices globally, but the changes will hit wallets in the U.S. and Canada first, according to The Wall Street Journal. At this time, it’s unclear how much Netflix will start charging users or when the new prices will go into effect.
Netflix declined to comment.
SAG-AFTRA and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers restarted talks yesterday about a possible deal. Guild members went on strike in July after their contract expired. The guild members’ demands include higher pay along with more contributions to pension and healthcare funds as well as recalculated residuals members are paid through streaming service revenue. The union also wants changes for the self-taping audition process and, like writers, protection against the use of artificial intelligence.
SAG-AFTRA joined Hollywood writers, who’ve since struck a deal with the AMPTP, on the picket line and brought the entertainment industry to a grinding halt. With both groups on strike, the fate of the 2023-2024 television season looked grim. Studios are beginning to feel the strain of standoff in their bottom lines.
In addition to navigating the potential financial impacts from the strikes, streamers like Netflix are also contending with rising inflation rates and competition from other companies. These factors have resulted in streaming service charging customers more for access. According to The Wall Street Journal, the cost of major ad-free services has climbed about 25% over the past year. In turn, viewers have become more price-conscious and are either unsubscribing from services, downgrading to a service’s ad-supported tier, or switching to free ad-supported content platforms.
Last January, Netflix raised its subscription fee for its Standard plan to $15.49 a month, which is $1.50 increase. The streaming app’s Premium plan rose by $2 to $19.99 a month for U.S. customers, and the Basic plan became a $1 more expensive, totaling $9.99 a month. The same month, Netflix announced plans for a paid password-sharing subscription in its effort to stop viewers from sharing accounts with non-household members. In July, Variety reported Netflix saying it was “more than a year out” from another price increased in the U.S. after its password-sharing crackdown.
In June, after the streaming giant unveiled the account-sharing rules, it experienced a boom in signups. If that tells us anything, another price hike isn’t guaranteed to scare off subscribers.