SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Netflix is raising its Internet video prices by $1 per month for new customers and giving its current U.S. subscribers a two-year break from the higher rates.
The changes mean anyone signing up for Netflix’s video subscription service beginning Friday will pay $9 per month for in the U.S. The old price of $8 per month will continue until May 2016 for Netflix’s existing 36 million U.S. subscribers.
The price increase, Netflix’s first in nearly three years, isn’t a surprise. The Los Gatos, California-based company disclosed its plans to raise its rates last month without specifying the precise amount.
Netflix Inc. says its needs more money so it can afford to pay for more original programming along the lines of its Emmy award-winning political drama “House of Cards” and critically acclaimed series “Orange Is the New Black.” The emphasis on video that can only been seen on Netflix has become a major drawing card for the company as it strives to create the Internet’s equivalent of Time Warner Inc.’s HBO cable network.
By delaying the price increase for current subscribers, Netflix hopes to avoid the backlash that it faced in 2011 when it raised its prices by as much as 60 percent.
The company lost about 800,000 customers within a few months in an exodus that alarmed investors, causing Netflix’s stock to plunge by more than 80 percent in a year. Netflix eventually lured back subscribers and revived its customer growth, lifting its stock to record highs earlier this year.
Netflix’s stock rose $2.65 to $324.31 in early afternoon trading Friday. The shares have fallen by 13 percent so far this year.
Prices for Netflix’s rapidly shrinking DVD-by-mail service aren’t changing. Those rates range from $5 to $20 per month, depending on how many DVDs are being rented and whether a Blu-ray option is included. Netflix ended March with 6.7 million DVD subscribers, a nearly 50 percent drop from 2 ½ years ago.
New Internet video customers can avoid the higher price if they are willing to settle for a little less clarity and flexibility. Netflix is also introducing a new $8 per month plan that will only show standard-definition video and limit viewership to just one screen.
Netflix normally offers high-definition video and allows subscribers to watch on up to two different screens. That means two people sharing the same subscription can simultaneously watch Netflix videos on different devices with high-speed Internet connections. The company already charges $12 per month for a subscription plan that allows video to be simultaneously streamed on four different screens.
Subscription prices also will be increasing by the equivalent of about $1 month in Netflix’s markets outside the U.S. The company ended March with nearly 13 million international customers in more than 40 countries.
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This Week’s Celebrity Instagrams (6/18-6/24)
25 photos Launch gallery
1. Me & the homie @jaleelwhite #RujohnFoundation Happy to be in Jamaica! Good times
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5. Good Morning. Early day in Detroit! Making press rounds for @thebossnetwork's Ladies That Lead Tour. Thank you @traycemadre and @colourbynumbr for my glam.
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6. POWER the best show on TV @djenvy, Queens we so big out here. #EFFENVODKA #FRIGO
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7. They said u lost a step, wasn't explosive as once was, the best days was in the real view, questioned your drive, your leadership, your commitment, you don't have killer instinct, going back home is the worst mistake in your career, he got the coach fired, players traded, won't work between him and Kyrie, Him and Kev won't work, love your teammates to much, there's no way he can deliver a championship in his hometown, etc etc etc.... But guess what THATS NONE OF MY BUSINESS #StriveForGreatness #ThisOneIsForTheLand #PutSomeRespeckOnMyName Hahahaha!!! Yes sir
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8. Oooooh weeee this man right here is responsible for at least three of our four babies!! #JOE ❤❤❤🎤 #rnb #king #voicelikebutter #ForPeetesSake
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9. Hanging with my @abcnetwork family! @abcunclebuck tonite y'all check us out ! @anthonyanderson @traceeellisross
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10. My broski ( @sayeedshahidi ) and I are on Top 5 Live on @go90 at 5 (which is super duper close)! Make sure to tune in :) #UncleBuck #Blackish
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11. Lights out💤 #GoodNight
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12. Late nights mornings
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13. Ran into the lovely talented @siedahgarrett on this brutiful favvuz deh!
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14. #halal #love #thedargans #kattwilliamsSHOW #mashallah when that Jennah piece HIT!! @sweetjennahcollection glasses by @baddieglamaccessories LIZ 😍 @dynamiteko top @dazzledmv and jeans @thevision414 and shoes: @louboutinworld
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15. Big Hair and Optical Illusions #OceanDrive #MiamiLiving #coverparty
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16. MAMA and THE SAVAGES ... ⚓️ #supportyourlocalgirlgang
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17. From the bottom of my ❤️, thank you new followers & old! & hello fellow night owls! #grateful #racheltrue #naturalhair #curlyhair #curlygirl #healthyhair
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18. I feel so grateful because I met these amazing young minds, visiting from Houston TX, during their college tour stop today at #usc.These students are ALL extraordinary and embody academic excellence so I'm humbled to have shared a few moments with them to applaud and celebrate their bright futures ahead! Thank you @EmergeFellows for inviting me to speak and blessing me with your love and attention this afternoon!
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19. Happy Fathers Day Pops. U taught me how to be a man. Lessons of love, hard work & gratefulness. Sorry the fishing didn't stick. LOL. I Love U!
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20. Sky Zone and Ice Cream! Best Fathers Day Ever!! Photo credit @mariahcarey
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21. Look what finally came in the mail 😎 #mtvmovieawards2016 💥+🌽! #straightouttacompton
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22. Claudia Jordan: ....
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23. 'Member that time I almost knocked a bajillion dollar camera off the car? Really? Yeah, me neither! #Greenleaf Episode 2 comin atcha!
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24. Full of love. #birthday #Cabo
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25. Oh hey! Look who just joined Snapchat
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