In a move that will no doubt lead to torrents of Internet backlash, Netflix has announced that it will increase subscription prices by up to 25 percent. While that sounds like a lot, it really only amounts to $1 to $2 extra a month in reality. Still, I'm sure that won't stop online denizens of every stripe from ranting and raving about how unfair it is.
One aspect that does seem a bit suspect is that Netflix made the announcement during an investor conference call, a call in which the company revealed that it had made higher than anticipated profits for the first quarter of 2014. I'll never claim to be a corporate executive, but I don't really get the logic in saying "we just made more money than we expected, now let's raise subscription fees."
The pricing change is expected to take effect later this quarter, and will at first apply only to new Netflix customers. Current subscribers will be grandfathered in at the current $7.99 a month streaming rate for what the company describes as "a generous time period." After that, all users will pay the same monthly rate. For its part, Netflix claims that "these changes will enable us to acquire more content and deliver an even better streaming experience."
This will mark the first price change for the service since back in 2011, when the price of streaming actually went down to $7.99 from $9.99. Of course, that also involved streaming being unbundled from DVDs, which sparked an entirely different social media firestorm.