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Netflix's Aussie price hike today could see it lose thousands of subscribers

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Netflix just took a bigger bite out of your budget. Images: Getty
Netflix just took a bigger bite out of your budget. Images: Getty

Your Netflix and chill nights just got more expensive.

As of Thursday, Netflix is increasing the price of their premium subscription plan from $17.99 to $19.99, but is leaving the cost of its basic and standard plans at $9.99 and $13.99 respectively.

That’s an extra $24 a year.

“We change our prices from time to time and continue to invest heavily to grow in the depth and breadth of our content such as new shows like The Politician, Unbelievable, well-loved series like Stranger Things, The Good Place and The Crown, as well as improvements to our product,” Netflix said in a statement.

It comes after Netflix hiked prices in the US in January, raising its basic plan from US$8 to US$9, its premium subscription plan from US$14 to US$16 and its standard plan from US$11 to US$13.

But according to Netflix second quarter report in July, this price hike saw Netflix lose a staggering 126,000 US subscribers, the first time the company lost domestic streaming customers in its 12-year history.

Additionally, only 2.7 million subscribers signed up, compared to the 5 million anticipated.

“Price is all relative to value,” Netflix CEO Reed Hastings said in 2017, which was the last time American subscribers had seen an increase.

“We’re continuing to increase the content offering and we’re seeing that reflected in viewing around the world.”

New world of streaming

It comes as Netflix faces its toughest rival yet: Disney+.

Priced competitively, Disney+ will cost AU$8.99 a month, while delivering the same features as Netflix’ premium features.

Speaking at the D23 conference in Anaheim in August, the chief creative officer of Walt Disney Studios, Alan Horn, said the foray into streaming came about because Disney needed to “stop feeding Netflix”.

“Let's stop feeding Netflix with our own movies and go off and ... start our own service,” he told reporters.

“We’re delivering massive amounts of high quality content, we’re delivering all of our libraries, great original content in one place, high-quality streaming... it’s ultra high definition, we have four concurrent streams and seven different accounts for every subscription,” the chairman of direct-to-consumer and international products, Kevin Mayer, also said.

“If you compare that to other services out there, just on those attributes alone… [for $8.99 a month] it’s quite good value.”

And more recently, Apple announced its streaming service, Apple+, which will be released in Australia on 1 November.

It has a flat rate of AU$7.99 a month, offering a selection of TV channels including CBS All Access, Starz and HBO.

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