Video streaming service Netflix has announced plans to increase its subscription fee for new members from £5.99 to £6.99 per month, with existing customers set to see their fee similarly increased within the next two years.
An official statement from Netflix CEO Reed Hastings claimed that the price increase should see a growth of choice in terms of TV shows and movies. But, with fierce competition from the likes of Amazon Instant Video and Sky’s Now TV, is it a price worth paying?
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Netflix price hike – sign up now to save
We spoke directly with a member of Netflix’s customer service team who confirmed that the price increase would come in for new members from late June. However, if you sign-up now, and receive an invoice before the price rise comes into play, you can still avoid the price hike.
This will put you in-line with existing subscribers, who can expect to see an increase in what Netflix is describing as a ‘generous period’ of time. While unconfirmed it’s expected that existing customers won’t see their prices go up for at least another year.
To put the increase into context, the Amazon Instant Video package costs £5.99, while the Sky Now TV entertainment package costs £4.99 (£6.99 after 29 May 2014), offering access to the likes of Sky 1, Sky Atlantic, Discovery Channel, Sky Arts and more.
Netflix vs Amazon Prime Instant vs Now TV
What you expect and demand of your entertainment is of course down to personal taste, and so it’s difficult to say exactly which service delivers the better content.
What we can say is that Netflix offers a number of well received original series, such as House of Cards and Orange is the New Black – and offers a large choice of both TV shows and films, although an awful lot of them are B movies or worse.
In comparison, Amazon Prime Instant Video might house a similar mix of TV and movies, but doesn’t yet hold a range of original programming quite as large as Netflix. There is also Now TV on offer; which offers flagship programmes like Game of Thrones and True Detective, but requires you pay extra for on-demand films – meaning that charges can soon spiral.
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As an existing Netflix subscriber I’m willing to sit on my £5.99 contract for now and wait to see what new TV shows and movies the service brings in.
If it hasn’t added anything of note when the price hike gets rolled-out to all subscribers, then I’d definitely be tempted to start looking at competitors. That said, if Netflix can add a further splash of classic movies and modern greats, and deliver with the likes of Daredevil and Sense8 on the TV series front, then the extra £1 per month could be worth it. The current TV offering is already wide but I do think Netflix needs a better selection of good films.
Either way, that most TV streaming services are provided on rolling contracts is good news for customers. If you think the extra £1 is too much to pay, you can cancel and get your TV fix elsewhere.
Mike Plant – writer