A Netflix price increase is coming soon for subscribers who have been with the service for two years or longer. A reported "millions" more will soon be forced to pay more if they want to keep the HD plan they're used to.
The company announced a price hike in May of 2014. At the time, it raised the price for new subscribers to $8.99 Later, it increased the price of its most popular plan to $9.99 - again for new customers. With the 2014 announcement, they said existing users wouldn't have to pay more for two years, but that two-year point is quickly approaching.
In fact, Netflix referenced the increase in its most recent quarterly letter to shareholders. It said this in the forecast section of that letter:
In Q2 and Q3, we’ll be releasing a substantial number of our US members from price grandfathering on the HD plan and they will have the option of continuing at $7.99 but now on the SD plan, or continuing on HD at $9.99 a month. Given these members have been with us at least 2 years, we expect only slightly elevated churn.
Of course some will likely just go with the SD plan without the price hike, but I would assume most will give in and pay a couple extra bucks. On the other hand, Netflix has a lot more competition than it once had, but HBO's online streaming service is still significantly more expensive at $14.99 a month, and Netflix is quickly adding more and more high-quality original/exclusive content to keep itself a "must-have" for many people.
Netflix's library has reportedly shrunk by 30%, but it has grown its original shows and movies by an average of 185% per year. According to recent research, Netflix originals get better ratings on average than other content on the service.
Either way, Netflix is expected to add more customers than it loses in the near future.
Image via Netflix