Netflix’s price hikes will take effect shortly for most subscribers

We knew it was coming, but that doesn’t make it less painful: The price hikes that Netflix announced earlier this year will show up on customers’ invoices starting in May, according to an email the company has been sending out, CNN reports.

Depending on your plan, your monthly Netflix bill will be increased by $1 or $2. The least-expensive basic plan will ring in at $9 per month instead of $8, while the premium plan jumps from $14 per month to $16. The standard plan, which sits between these options, will be $13 per month instead of $11. Some existing subscribers are already paying the higher fees and anyone who signed up for the streaming video service since the new prices were announced, has been paying the new rates since starting their subscription.

No one enjoys paying more for content — after all, Netflix’s low monthly fees are one of the biggest reasons it’s seen as a major force in the trend toward cord-cutting — but there appears to be quite a bit of wiggle room for streaming services like Netflix to raise prices. According to a recent survey that looked at reasons why people stick with or cancel their streaming media subscriptions, 64 percent of U.S. subscribers, and 55 percent of U.K. subscribers said that, “having plenty of interesting content to watch” was the top reason for sticking around.

If that’s the case, Netflix’s strategy of raising its prices in order to fund the creation of more high-quality, original content might actually keep subscribers around longer, rather than see them leave over higher prices. Still, the price hike opens the door for competitors to try to snatch customers away from the streaming behemoth, and Hulu was the first to do so. Soon after Netflix’s announcement, Hulu cut the price of its least expensive, ad-supported tier of service by $2, bringing it down to $6 per month — $3 less than Netflix’s basic plan, and less than half the price of its standard subscription.

While Hulu might be fighting for Netflix’s least profitable customers, Netflix will soon have to contend with Apple TV Plus, the upcoming streaming service from Apple that is looking like it will be a draw for Netflix’s highest paying subscribers.

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