Streaming giant Netflix raises prices again for users in the United Kingdom and Ireland, as it seeks to invest more in content production
Netflix has raised the price again for users in the United Kingdom and Ireland – the second time in less than 18 months.
The streaming giant last raised its UK in December 2020, and Irish prices in March 2021, the Guardian newspaper reported.
The price hikes comes as Netflix admitted it faces “added competition” from Disney, Apple, Amazon and HBO which it said is affecting its prospects.
In January Netflix said it had grown its global customer base to a total of 222 million subscribers during 2021.
However it conceded it may have difficulties maintaining the pace of growth it has seen during the pandemic.
Netflix added 18.2 million subscribers last year, about half the number who signed up in 2020.
But now Netflix has raised its prices for subscribers in the United Kingdom and Ireland, as it seeks to invest more in production of new shows and films, the Guardian reported.
Netflix is said to have 14 million subscribers in the UK, and 600,000 in Ireland.
Prices for its standard plan in UK, which allows streaming on two devices at the same time, will rise by £2 pounds to £10.99 per month, while customers who have opted for the basic plan will now have to pay £6.99, up from the previous price of £5.99.
Netflix’s premium plan for British users has risen to £15.99 pounds a month.
Ireland saw the basic plan rise by 1 euro to 8.99 euros, while the standard and premium tiers will now cost 14.99 euros (up from 12.99 euros) and 20.99 euros respectively (up from 17.99 euros).
The price rises on this side of the pond comes after users in the United States also experienced increases in January.
“Our updated prices reflect the investment we have made in our service and catalogue and will allow us to continue making the series, documentaries and films our members love as well as investing in talent and the creative industry,” Netflix was quoted by the Guardian as saying. “We offer a range of plans so members can choose a price that works best for them.”
The UK is Netflix’s biggest production base for TV shows and films outside the US with a $1bn annual content spend, the Guardian noted.
The price change will start from March 10 for all new members, while existing members will be notified by Netflix 30 days before it comes into effect for their respective billing cycles.
Netflix’s price rises come after rival streaming service Disney+, which launched in the UK in early 2020, raised its prices from £5.99 to £7.99 last year.
It has been clear for a while now that Netflix has been seeking to grow its revenue stream.
In March last year for example, Netflix tested account passwords, as it sought to clampdown on the revenue losing problem of password sharing.
More recently Netflix has been been sucked into Ukraine crisis when earlier this week, TikTok and Netflix respectively limited and cut their services in Russia following the introduction of its “fake news” law.
Under the Russian law, anyone who writes news deemed false about the Russian military can be jailed for up to 15 years. This has resulted in Western media outlets pulling some of its journalists from Russia.
TikTok said this week it had suspended live streaming and posting new content on its platform from Russia as it assesses the law. It has blocked all non-Russian content in Russia, but is allowing historical content uploaded by domestic accounts to stay online.
Netflix meanwhile said it was suspending services in Russia in protest against the invasion.
Last week it temporarily stopped all future projects and acquisitions in the country as it assessed the situation.
Netflix is said to have 1 million subscribers in Russia.