For the first time since January 2019, Netflix is raising subscription rates in the US.
Thursday, the world’s largest streaming company said in a statement that it raises the price of a monthly 4 K premium subscription, which requires four screens to be watched at the same time, by $2 to $17.99.
The cost of high definition (HD) standard subscription that allows two screens will rise by $1 to $13.99 per month, while its basic plan that does not include HD streaming and allows one screen, will not see a price increase at $8.99 per month.
The decision comes as Netflix, also a production company, has increased its annual content budget for seven consecutive years in order to have new features against competitors in the streaming industry.
“We’re updating our prices so that we can continue to offer more variety of TV shows and films — in addition to our great fall lineup,” the statement said.
“We understand people have more entertainment choices than ever … we offer a range of plans so that people can pick a price that works best for their budget,” it added.
Netflix shares closed Thursday with 3.7% gain but they were down around 5.3% in the Nasdaq on Friday around 11.30 a.m. EDT.
The company saw its subscriber growth slow in the third quarter of 2020 from the novel coronavirus-led growth earlier this year.
Its subscription service could only add 2.2 million new paid members globally in July-September, down nearly 68% from 6.8 million the same period of last year.
During the first and second quarters of 2020, the organization managed to have 15.7 million and 10.1 million new membership additions, respectively, as COVID-19 forced door closures for movie theaters and millions of people quarantined at home across the world turned to streaming services.