Netflix price increase arrives: What that means for existing subscribers

As of January 14, Netflix in the United States now costs at least one dollar more for each of the three plans offered, meaning the company's 4K customers are now paying $20/month for the service. The company has also increased its plan prices in Canada.

Netflix has been steadily raising its prices over the past several years, slowly climbing from $11.99 for the 4K Premium plan in 2015 to the most recent $17.99/month rate. That changes again today with a two-dollar price hike, pushing the Premium plan to $19.99/month (via Netflix).

The two lesser plans have also experienced a price increase, though not quite as drastically. The Netflix Basic plan, which doesn't even offer HD streaming resolution, has increased by one dollar from $8.99/month to $9.99/month. The mid-tier Standard plan, meanwhile, which does include HD streaming and support for watching content on two devices at the same time, increased from $13.99/month to $15.49/month.

This is the latest of multiple big price increases in recent years. In October 2020, for example, Netflix increased its Standard plan price from $12.99/month to $13.99/month, and its Premium plan cost from $15.99/month to $17.99/month.

Existing customers will have a temporary reprieve from this price increase, but new subscribers will pay the higher rate starting today. Existing customers can expect to receive an email 30 days before their price is set to increase, giving them time to cancel if they're interested in playing more.

Is Netflix worth it?

The January 2022 Premium price increase holds to that trend of two dollars more monthly, raising questions about just how expensive this plan can get before subscribers start looking elsewhere for entertainment. The streaming market is more crowded than ever and Netflix remains among the most expensive — unless you're content with standard definition streaming quality.

In comparison, HBO Max's ad-free plan with 4K access is priced at $14.99/month, while Philo, which provides access to popular live streaming television channels, costs $25/month. Netflix's big selling point at this time is its original content, but the company has built a reputation for quickly canceling many of its shows, a growing frustration for customers (via Comicbook).

Combine that frustration with much cheaper services that offer huge libraries of content, and it's easy to see how such price increases may drive some users to jump ship. Paramount+, for example, offers its Premium plan at $9.99/month, and it offers access to users' live local CBS networks in addition to the vast CBS content library.