Netflix bumps prices for new subscribers

Netflix, the streaming movie service, is raising its rates for new subscribers. The price hikes are going into effect around the world and range from $1 in the US to £1 in the UK and €1 in Europe. New subscribers will pay $8.99, £6.99 and €8.99 respectively.

Existing subscribers will continue to pay the old rates of $7.99, £5.99 and €7.99 respectively until 2016.

A Netflix spokesman said, “To continue adding more movies and TV shows and delivering a great streaming experience, we previously announced that we planned to increase our price slightly for new members. That increase is happening today.”

The company said that they will be using the money to “acquire more content and deliver an even better streaming experience.” And perhaps some of that money will be set aside to pay Comcast’s extortion fees.

Netflix isn’t exactly hurting for money these days. They’ve got an estimated 35.7 million US customers and 12.7 million international customers. That’s about 48.4 million customers (at $7.99 a pop that’s roughly $387 million a month, or $4,640,592 a year). And it doesn’t look like those numbers are going anywhere but up.

That’s a lot of popcorn.

Even with competition from Amazon, Hulu and a few others Netflix has already carved out a pretty good niche in movie lover’s hearts, and the electronics industry. Just about every new smart TV sold these days has a Netflix logo somewhere on the box and many of them have Netflix icons built into their menus and some even have dedicated Netflix buttons on the remote controls.

I don’t begrudge them one dime and the price hike is trivial considering what they offer. Sure the menus can be a bit frustrating at time and sometimes their automated suggestions are a little absurd (it once gave me a whole category of ‘action movies featuring people who look like Zach Galifianakis with a strong female lead’). But all things considered Netflix has a pretty good image, hasn’t tried to bully anybody and actually delivers what they say they will.

So when 2016 rolls around I’ll pony up the extra dollar so I can watch hundreds of hours of anime and mindless zombie movies. Still seems like a fair deal to me.