Right at the start of this year it came out that Netflix was 'testing' a price increase for customers over in the US, adding an extra couple of dollars onto its monthly subscription plans. People got worried it would happen in the UK as well, though Netflix wouldn't confirm or deny the possibility at the time. Well now it's gone an confirmed it after all, after UK customers started noticing the prices were going up.
Users over on the Digital Spy forums have been noticing changes to the company's pricing, with increases to all three of the company's subscription plans. Normally the Basic, Standard, and Premium plans cost £6, £8, and £10 a month, respectively, but some people have noticed that the sign up page increased the prices to as high as £7, £10, and £13 for the three. But things seem to be inconsistent, and users have reported the prices jumping around after using different browsers or wiping their cookies. For the record I didn't see any sort of pricing change when I had a look.
Digital Spy contacted Netflix to see what was up, and the company confirmed that it is "testing slightly different prices to better understand how members value Netflix." Adding that "not everyone will see this test and we may never roll out these specific prices beyond this test." So there's no guarantee a price hike is on the way, but the conspiracy-loving part of my brain seems to think this is all about seeing whether people are willing to pay more.
Some will, many won't. This is the internet, and people on the internet love kicking up a fuss about nothing. Imagine what they'll do for something like this.
A spokesperson added that the company's goal "is to ensure that Netflix is always great value for money," though Digital Spy points out that a £13 a month Premium subscription will actually cost you more than a colour TV licence. Sure very few people will be on that plan without splitting the cost with friends and family, but that's still a lot of money! Remember when streaming was touted as a cheap alternative to premium TV packages?
But since the American price hike 'testing' seems to have led to a permanent price increase, we should probably brace ourselves for some change. Here's just hoping existing customers get to hold off on having to pay more for a few months longer. [Digital Spy]