New Netflix members can expect to see their subscription rates go up in the next few months, according to the company’s most recent letter to shareholders (the letter also included Netflix’s first-quarter financial results, which beat analyst estimates).
The letter says Netflix’s online selection has “greatly improved … since we introduced our streaming plan in 2010 at $7.99 per month” and as a result, “Our current view is to do a one or two dollar increase, depending on the country, later this quarter for new members only.” Existing members will stay at the current price “for a generous time period.” Presumably, not forever.
Earlier this year, the company said it was experimenting with different pricing tiers, adding that it hadn’t settled on anything and that there would be “generous grandfathering” for existing members. Today’s shareholder letter doesn’t mention anything about tiers, but the pricing discussion is vague enough that those tiers could still be part of the plan.
“These changes will enable us to acquire more content and deliver an even better streaming experience,” the company says.
Netflix infamously hiked up prices for its combined DVD and streaming video plan back in 2011, leading to its abortive Qwikster initiative. At this point, it seems that Netflix has weathered the transition to streaming video pretty well, although it says it still has 6.7 million DVD subscribers.