Skip to main content

Netflix is raising the price of its most popular plan to $14 today, premium tier increasing to $18

Netflix is raising the price of its most popular plan to $14 today, premium tier increasing to $18

/

The basic plan will remain $9 a month

Share this story

Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

Netflix is introducing price hikes for its US subscribers today, increasing its standard plan to $14 a month and its premium tier to $18 a month.

The new pricing for the standard plan is a $1 price increase (from $13 a month), while the new premium tier cost is a $2 increase (from $16 a month). New subscribers will have to pay the updated monthly fees, while current subscribers will see the new prices over the next few weeks as they roll out with customer’s billing cycles.

Industry insiders have long anticipated another round of price hikes at Netflix, which last increased subscription fees in the United States in January 2019. Recently, Netflix increased the cost of some plans in Canada. Netflix rolls out price changes on a country-by-country basis and the change “in the US does not influence or indicate a global price change,” a Netflix spokesperson told The Verge.

The price hikes also arrive at a time when people have more options for entertainment than ever before — especially in the United States. A few years ago, Netflix’s biggest competition in the streaming space was Hulu, and the company vied for people’s attention being split playing video games, watching YouTube, and sleeping. Now, the US alone has HBO Max, Disney Plus, Peacock, TikTok, YouTube, Twitch, and Fortnite. Oh, and sleep is still a factor. Netflix is aware of this. Prices are being updated “so that we can continue to offer more variety of TV shows and films,” a spokesperson told The Verge.

“As always we offer a range of plans so that people can pick a price that works best for their budget,” the spokesperson added.

Prices are being updated “so that we can continue to offer more variety of TV shows and films.”

The price hikes also come as Netflix is looking to invest more heavily into its content slate and product features. Netflix has increased its annual content budget every single year over the last seven years, spending a once estimated $18.5 billion in 2020 alone, though that may have changed this year due to the pandemic. Increased competition means Netflix needs to continuously step up its game to ensure it has both quality content and plenty of it, while also working to better the actual platform. That costs money, and price hikes come as a result.

Questions about price hikes came up during Netflix’s most recent earnings call this month. Greg Peters, Netflix’s chief operating officer and chief product officer, said that as the company invests more into both content and tech developments, they’ll “occasionally go back and ask [customers] to pay a little bit more to keep that virtuous cycle of investment and value creation going.” Although Netflix is not influenced by competitor pricing, according to a person familiar with the matter, its new standard price is just $1 less than HBO Max’s $15 a month charge — a fee that many analysts claimed was too high for consumers.

At the time, analyst Ross Benes, who covers Netflix for eMarketer, told The Verge that Netflix is still underpriced. He added that people get “a lot of value for not a whole lot of money.” It’s because of all these different factors, and with Netflix becoming an even more central streaming service in people’s lives during the pandemic, that Netflix could ask for an extra dollar a month and people would pay.

“Some people might cancel, but I bet it would pay off for them,” Benes added.

Netflix executives like co-CEO Reed Hastings have also made peace with losing some customers — something the industry refers to as churn. Hastings told analysts during the company’s second quarter earnings call in July that people might leave Netflix from time to time to subscribe to other streamers. The goal, however, was to “have so many hits that you know when you come to Netflix you can just go from hit to hit to hit and never have to think about any of those other services.” Creating that constant series of hits that convinces people to sign up and stay gets expensive — fast — and that’s in part where price hikes come in.

Today’s Storystream

Feed refreshed 12:00 AM UTC Dimorphos didn’t even see it coming

R
Twitter
Richard Lawler12:00 AM UTC
A direct strike at 14,000 mph.

The Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) scored a hit on the asteroid Dimorphos, but as Mary Beth Griggs explains, the real science work is just beginning.

Now planetary scientists will wait to see how the impact changed the asteroid’s orbit, and to download pictures from DART’s LICIACube satellite which had a front-row seat to the crash.


M
The Verge
We’re about an hour away from a space crash.

At 7:14PM ET, a NASA spacecraft is going to smash into an asteroid! Coverage of the collision — called the Double Asteroid Redirection Test — is now live.


E
Twitter
Emma RothSep 26
There’s a surprise in the sky tonight.

Jupiter will be about 367 million miles away from Earth this evening. While that may seem like a long way, it’s the closest it’s been to our home planet since 1963.

During this time, Jupiter will be visible to the naked eye (but binoculars can help). You can check where and when you can get a glimpse of the gas giant from this website.


Asian America learns how to hit back

The desperate, confused, righteous campaign to stop Asian hate

Esther WangSep 26
E
Twitter
Emma RothSep 26
Missing classic Mario?

One fan, who goes by the name Metroid Mike 64 on Twitter, just built a full-on 2D Mario game inside Super Mario Maker 2 complete with 40 levels and eight worlds.

Looking at the gameplay shared on Twitter is enough to make me want to break out my SNES, or at least buy Super Mario Maker 2 so I can play this epic retro revamp.


R
External Link
Russell BrandomSep 26
The US might still force TikTok into a data security deal with Oracle.

The New York Times says the White House is still working on TikTok’s Trump-era data security deal, which has been in a weird limbo for nearly two years now. The terms are basically the same: Oracle plays babysitter but the app doesn’t get banned. Maybe it will happen now, though?


R
Youtube
Richard LawlerSep 26
Don’t miss this dive into Guillermo del Toro’s stop-motion Pinocchio flick.

Andrew Webster and Charles Pulliam-Moore covered Netflix’s Tudum reveals (yes, it’s going to keep using that brand name) over the weekend as the streamer showed off things that haven’t been canceled yet.

Beyond The Way of the Househusband season two news and timing information about two The Witcher projects, you should make time for this incredible behind-the-scenes video showing the process of making Pinocchio.


R
External Link
Russell BrandomSep 26
Edward Snowden has been granted Russian citizenship.

The NSA whistleblower has been living in Russia for the 9 years — first as a refugee, then on a series of temporary residency permits. He applied for Russian citizenship in November 2020, but has said he won’t renounce his status as a U.S. citizen.


E
External Link
Emma RothSep 26
Netflix’s gaming bet gets even bigger.

Even though fewer than one percent of Netflix subscribers have tried its mobile games, Netflix just opened up another studio in Finland after acquiring the Helsinki-based Next Games earlier this year.

The former vice president of Zynga Games, Marko Lastikka, will serve as the studio director. His track record includes working on SimCity BuildIt for EA and FarmVille 3.


A
External Link
Vietnam’s EV aspirant is giving big Potemkin village vibes

Idle equipment, absent workers, deserted villages, an empty swimming pool. VinFast is Vietnam’s answer to Tesla, with the goal of making 1 million EVs in the next 5-6 years to sell to customers US, Canada and Europe. With these lofty goals, the company invited a bunch of social media influencers, as well as some auto journalists, on a “a four-day, multicity extravaganza” that seemed more weird than convincing, according to Bloomberg.


J
James VincentSep 26
Today, 39 years ago, the world didn’t end.

And it’s thanks to one man: Stanislav Petrov, a USSR military officer who, on September 26th, 1983, took the decision not to launch a retaliatory nuclear attack against the US. Petrov correctly guessed that satellite readings showing inbound nukes were faulty, and so likely saved the world from nuclear war. As journalist Tom Chivers put it on Twitter, “Happy Stanislav Petrov Day to those who celebrate!” Read more about Petrov’s life here.


Soviet Colonel who prevented 1983 nuclear response
Photo by Scott Peterson/Getty Images
J
The Verge
James VincentSep 26
Deepfakes were made for Disney.

You might have seen the news this weekend that the voice of James Earl Jones is being cloned using AI so his performance as Darth Vader in Star Wars can live on forever.

Reading the story, it struck me how perfect deepfakes are for Disney — a company that profits from original characters, fans' nostalgia, and an uncanny ability to twist copyright law to its liking. And now, with deepfakes, Disney’s most iconic performances will live on forever, ensuring the magic never dies.


E
External Link
Hurricane Fiona ratcheted up tensions about crypto bros in Puerto Rico.

“An official emergency has been declared, which means in the tax program, your physical presence time is suspended,” a crypto investor posted on TikTok. “So I am headed out of the island.” Perhaps predictably, locals are furious.


R
The Verge
Richard LawlerSep 26
Teen hacking suspect linked to GTA 6 leak and Uber security breach charged in London.

City of London police tweeted Saturday that the teenager arrested on suspicion of hacking has been charged with “two counts of breach of bail conditions and two counts of computer misuse.”

They haven’t confirmed any connection with the GTA 6 leak or Uber hack, but the details line up with those incidents, as well as a suspect arrested this spring for the Lapsus$ breaches.