Netflix price hike – a pound too far?

by , TV Services 23/04/2014
Netflix price hike

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.

Which? expert view – ‘varied and original content is key’

Mike Plant bylineAs 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

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8 comments

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Anne

What I find frustrating about some of these services, is that they sell themselves based on big name box sets but when you subscribe, you find there is only a limited time to watch them. I trialled LoveFilm instant a year ago to find that I only had a couple of weeks to watch Criminal Minds. I just subscribed NowTV for Game of Thrones to find all previous seasons expire in 14 days and the first episodes of True Detective season 1 have now gone. I guess its ok if you do a free trial but for NowTV you don’t get a trial (although granted you can cancel at any time).

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mrratcatcher

I subscribe to all three – still good value compared with Sky.

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John

I’ve just been introduced to the Cartoon HD app on my iPhone/iPad.
It has a couple of very recent big films like Captain Phillips and Game of Thrones.
Not looked to see how many episodes are available.
Is this app legal?
Produced by a company called Gapp Center.
Interested to know how this app can provide the content it does for free.

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Scott A J Reynolds

Hi Me & My boyfriend have been with NetFlix Uk since it really came to the Uk,

Nextfilx Uk were the only provider to bring the final series of breaking bad to Nextflix uk the very next day after it had been shown in America,

Also Netflix Uk allows 2 consoles/devices too access NextFlix Uk library for £5.99p a month :)

&

Before NetFlix Uk even came too the Uk, LoveFilm owned & run by Amazon weren’t really offering LoveFilm for £4.99p a month, As once You joined them under that package, You saw there were loads of different & confusing packages one there & VERY POOR TV CONTENT :/

Also when NetFlix Uk came to the Uk, It said & explained why it chose the Uk & why it wouldn’t be offering free dvd,cd,game, deliveries, Like it had done in America,

NetFlix Uk said they wanted to make everything 100% digital & live stream :)

Since NetFlix Uk joined the market, NOW Tv has gone down since NetFlix Uk came to the Uk,

Before that NOW Tv (Owned By SKY/BSKYB) was £8.99p a month for the first 3 months & Then £15.99p thereafter :/

It seems if NetFlix Uk hadn’t come to the market, We’d still have LoveFilm & Its poor tv content & NOW Tv’s overly priced tv services.

Also Sky/BSKYB Have the tendencies Too hike there prices & Sky packages all the time, Especially when either VirginMedia & BTVision try to offer there Sky services/channels even cheaper than a Sky Dish/services.

I don’t think an extra £1 is that much, Considering we owe the change from both Amazon & Sky/BSKYB thanks to NetFkix Uk entering the Uk tv market :)

Plus at the moment I trust NetFlix Uk more than I do Amazon & Sky/BSKYB :/

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Scott A J Reynolds

Also NetFlix Uk offers online cancelling of its monthly contract & You don’t need to waste money & time speaking too sales teams trying to keep you too stay,

Its great way to cancel contracts for the depressed,ill,disabled, & More :)

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tom

I think the author is deluded and weakly trying to appear fashionably balanced and fair, a la BBC, and so lacks any useful insight.

I will do it instead.

Netflix on Apple TV is superb and great value for money. I paid for a year upfront as it’s that good. As well as the high-quality original programs like House of Cards and first to show streaming of Breaking Bad, the playback resolution is consistently high quality, subtitles on most programs and a great interface on Apple TV.

Amazon Instant on my Sony Blu-ray player is horrible. The interface is clunky, it is interspersed with paid for programs, no subtitles and ropy playback.

Sky is one giant mess. Now TV Sport only on Apple TV, nothing on my Sony Blu-ray player, Sky Store and Now TV Movies on BT Vision. Sky should have one app for everything, not the current unwieldy mess.

So, a quid more a month at already rock bottom prices is a no brainer. There, done the work for the meek author.

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Jeremy

Which service with a monthly fee is best if you like to watch films, and not just the old repeats ?

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Trevor

I’ve had Netflix and Amazon Instants in tandem.

I agree with most of the commentators remarks re Netflix. A wide range of TV shows and their own original content. Great., The speed at which good movies come on stream is far far too slow however.

I’ve now cancelled Amazon Instant. The range of TV shows I wanted to watch was not appreciably better than Netflix and where Netflix and Amazon had the shame shows, Netflix would often have an extra series of that show, compared to Amazon. Also the movie choices on Amazon weren’t as good.

I enjoy my movies and accessing a good range of new A list movies at a reasonable subscription is the only thing lacking for UK subscribers to video streaming services.

I joined NowTV films (8.99 per month) soon after I relegated Amazon Instants. After initial excitement catching up with the handful of blockbusters.I soon realised that whilst it provided the best movie range Sky was only drip feeding the decent new stuff at a rate of one or two a month. Again, for me, frustratingly slow. I’m using it less and less often and I can’t see me sticking with them much longer, at the cost. I may have to abandon the movie side of things until something better comes along or pause this subscription for 6 months, then come back for a spell.

Final thoughts. I can stream Netflix on two virgin media boxes, Playstation, smart TVs, smart phones tablets and computers. Streaming is generally great on everything, best image from the PlayStation and I love the auto next episode play feature I get on virgin and Playstation Netflix apps. Netflix is a keeper, probably even with a modest price hike.

The range of play options for NowTV is a little more limited. I only access Now TV movies on PlayStation currently. I get Sliverlight playback issues on internet explorer though it works fine off other browsers, I just can’t be bothered watching on computer now, I haven’t bothered downloading the apps for phones and tablets either. For months, in contrast to my Netflix experience on PlayStation, streaming of every single Sky movie was interrupted at least once. Terribly frustration in this day and age. I’ll accept though that having stuck with it and observing a number of app upgrades they have implemented, streaming has got much better recently. I can see that for their phone apps there were playback issues there too, so it’s interesting that charging as much as they do Sky were providing a relatively lame viewing experience for some time. Is anyone surprised at that?

T

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