Friday, May 25, 2018
Business

Netflix raising U.S. prices by 10 percent for most popular plan

SAN FRANCISCO — Netflix is raising the price for its most popular U.S. video streaming plan by 10 percent — a move that could boost its profits but slow the subscriber growth that drives its stock price.

The change announced Thursday affects most of Netflix's 53 million U.S. subscribers.

Netflix will now charge $11 per month instead of $10 for a plan that includes HD and allows people to simultaneously watch programs on two different Internet-connected devices.

The price for another plan that includes ultra-high definition, or 4K, video, is going up by 17 percent, to $14 from $12 a month. A plan that limits subscribers to one screen at a time without high-definition will remain at $8 a month.

The increase would be the first in two years for Netflix, although it won't seem that way for millions of subscribers. That's because Netflix temporarily froze its rates for longtime subscribers the last two times it raised its prices, delaying the most recent increases until the second half of last year for them.

Netflix isn't giving anyone a break this time around. It will start emailing notifications about the new prices to affected subscribers Oct. 19.

The price increase are being driven by Netflix's desire to fatten its profit margins as it spends more money to finance a critically acclaimed slate of original programming that includes shows such as House of Cards.

Wedbush Securities analyst Michael Wedbush believes less than 10 percent of subscribers will cancel Netflix as prices rise again, but he predicts it will be tougher to attract new customers who will choose cheaper alternatives from Amazon or Hulu.

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