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Bad news, Netflix fans – a new price hike might be coming soon

Netflix account
  • Netflix prices for some users are likely to increase soon, depending on which analyst you talk to.
  • Following recent price hikes for Netflix users in the US and Canada, it’s been suggested that prices might be going up soon for Netflix accounts in Europe as well as other global markets.
  • Netflix announced this week that it’s now hit 200 million paying subscribers, and it will also add more original content in 2021 compared to 2020, the coronavirus pandemic notwithstanding.

Here’s an interesting question for the Netflix fans among you — how many of you, if I asked you right now, could quote me the exact price of your monthly subscription to the world’s biggest streaming service? Oh sure, you can probably remember what you started out at, but there have been a number of price hikes since then. And in between bingeing everything from The Crown to Narcos, Tiger King, and all your other favorite shows and movies that comprise Netflix’s utterly massive and constantly growing content library … well, if you’re like me, the power of inertia has kicked in and as long as the bill doesn’t bite too much out of your wallet, you’re content to just keep the subscription. Whatever the cost, while the streamer conveniently hits your credit card account month after month after month.

I opened my own credit card account a few minutes ago, because I wasn’t actually sure what I was paying any more (it’s a little over $15/month). That’s how powerful a force Netflix has become, hooking us on a seductive value proposition — the world’s biggest streaming library of TV shows and movies — for a super-low monthly price. One that’s low enough for Netflix to be able to keep raising prices incrementally, and most of you will hardly notice. And it’s about to happen again, if you ask some analysts who follow the company.

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A new commentary from The Motley Fool, for example, predicts more price increases in some of Netflix’s global markets like Europe in 2021, following price hikes in the US and Canada at the end of 2020. One reason has to do with the fact that Netflix’s European market will be feeding a growing share of content to the streamer’s library, with a slew of exciting shows and movies coming to Netflix soon from Europe, all of which will have to be paid for.

The new content this year includes Sky Rojo, a hotly-anticipated series from Spain that’s set to drop on Netflix in March. It’s from the creators of Money Heist, a smash hit for the streamer that has become one of its all-time most successful international series.

During the company’s latest quarterly earnings call on Tuesday, Netflix chief product officer Greg Peters addressed the possibility of price hikes thus: “We’re just basically assessing, okay, how many new popular titles have we delivered, what are local language originals in that particular country looking like, what’s the slate that’s coming looking like, what are the fundamental metrics, right, engagement and churn. And we say, do we believe that we’re really delivering more value to our members — and, if so, do we think it’s the right time to go back and ask them to pay a bit more so we can again keep that cycle going.”

The European Union has proposed mandating requiring Netflix and streamers like it to carry much more local content, a requirement that would force Netflix to shell out more money for that local content, which in turn could be a cost that’s passed down to subscribers.

Nevertheless, Pivotal Research Group analysts raved about the company in a note Wednesday: “We remain bulls on the NFLX story as NFLX offers consumers an increasingly compelling unique entertainment experience on virtually any device, w/o commercials at a still relatively low cost.”

Andy is a reporter in Memphis who also contributes to outlets like Fast Company and The Guardian. When he’s not writing about technology, he can be found hunched protectively over his burgeoning collection of vinyl, as well as nursing his Whovianism and bingeing on a variety of TV shows you probably don’t like.

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