Netflix hikes prices for millions of UK customers

Saleha Riaz
·3 min read
Those who signed up for Netflix on or after December 10 will not be impacted as they will already be paying the higher prices. Photo: Getty Images
Those who signed up for Netflix on or after 10 December will not be impacted as they will already be paying the higher prices. Photo: Getty

Online streaming service Netflix (NFLX) said it is increasing prices for most of its 13 million UK customers, with its standard plan rising to £9.99 ($13.54) a month.

The provider's standard plan will go up 11% from its current £8.99 a month fee.

Netflix's premium plan, which lets subscribers view programmes on four different screens simultaneously as well as watch in HD and Ultra HD where available, will jump from £11.99 to £13.99.

Its basic plan customers (one-screen and non-HD) won't see their bills rise and they will continue to pay £5.99.

Netflix said it started notifying customers on 1 January, and all of its UK users will be contacted in the next couple of months.

The company said the price hikes are essential to reflect the “significant investments” it has made in new TV shows and films.

Customers will be given a month's notice before the price rise kicks in. Those who don’t want to pay the higher prices can cancel their subscription without incurring any penalty.

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Those who signed up for Netflix on or after 10 December will not be impacted as they will already be paying the higher prices.

“This year we’re spending over $1bn in the UK on new, locally made films, series and documentaries, helping to create thousands of jobs and showcasing British storytelling at its best — with everything from The Crown to Sex Education and Top Boy, plus many, many more,” a Netflix spokesperson said.

“Our price change reflects the significant investments we’ve made in new TV shows and films, as well as improvements to our product.

Nick Baker, streaming and TV expert at Uswitch.com, said that “Netflix has been a lifeline for many people during lockdown, so this price rise is an unwanted extra expense for households feeling the financial pressure.

“It’s unfortunate timing that this price hike coincides with another national lockdown, when all of us will be streaming more television and films than ever.”

He noted that during the first lockdown, the amount of streaming content watched by consumers rose a third year-on-year.

He said it’s worth remembering that if users feel they are not getting value for money from their subscription they can cancel penalty free at any time.

Alternatively, if they are currently on the standard plan they can downgrade to the basic package of £5.99.

Based on the £8.99 a month price, a report from November showed that Netflix had one of the highest subscription fees out of all streaming services available in the UK. But with 5,900 titles to choose from, it works out at just £0.15 per 100 titles, research by Currys PC World showed.

Netflix also offers the most even split of film and TV, with 68% movies and 32% TV shows, the report said.

Amazon (AMZN) Prime Video has the largest library with over 21,500 titles and costs £7.99 per month, equating to just £0.03 per title, the research said.

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Meanwhile, Apple (AAPL) TV+ sells itself on its library of brand-new, original films and TV shows, with 66% of titles released in 2020, Currys said.

BFI Player specialises in critically acclaimed cinema, with 61% of the titles over 25 years old.

Apple TV+ deals purely in brand-new, original Apple content, and Disney+ showcases the best from Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars and National Geographic.

Free streaming alternatives for UK consumers include BBC iPlayer, Vimeo and YouTube.

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