Friendly reminder: If you’ve had a Netflix subscription for more than two years, the rate you pay is likely about to go up by $2 a month. The streaming platform is expected to begin raising prices for legacy subscribers who were exempt from previous price hikes next month.
Back in May 2014, Netflix bumped up the price for new members to stream movies and TV shows on its standard plan to $8.99 a month, then later to $9.99 a month. But existing-member prices were locked in at $7.99 for another two years. That two-year period expires in May, after which point those subscribers will have to pay the same $9.99-a-month rate for the standard, tw0-screen, “HD”-quality plan.
Update (1:15pm ET): In October, prices will also go up for US members who joined Netflix between May 2014 and October 2015, who are currently paying $8.99 for the standard streaming package.
Netflix will begin to “ungrandfather” UK accounts later this month as well, the company said. Rates for legacy UK members will rise to £7.49 ($10.57) for the standard plan. Price updates will roll out elsewhere beginning in May, based on member billing periods. Netflix said it will notify those affected in advance by email and within the service.
The company said in a January letter to shareholders that grandfathered subscribers will be given the option to continue paying $7.99 a month for Netflix’s streaming services, but now on a plan that supports just one device a time, or continue on the two-screen, “HD” plan at $9.99 a month.
To see when you’re due for a price increase, go to the drop-down menu on the upper-right hand corner of the Netflix homepage and select ”Your Account.”
The date your current rate expires is listed under “Plan Details.”
Analysts at JPMorgan Chase expect Netflix to to roll out the price increases gradually, to minimize the fallout from subscribers who don’t want to pay the higher rates, according to a March report.
Subscribers will be notified about the price change during the second and third quarters of 2016, Netflix said.
Of course those who balk at the higher rate can always cut ties with Netflix, but analysts at UBS estimate that only 3% to 4% of affected subscribers will actually do this. Although more, about 15% of affected subscribers, claim they’ll cancel, according to a March JPMorgan Chase survey.
Many subscribers don’t even know the price hike is coming. It’s estimated to affect 17 million people, or 37% of US Netflix subscribers, according to UBS. But the JPMorgan survey found that 80% of those whose grandfathered plans are about to expire didn’t know about the rate increase.
Netflix isn’t too worried about it though. “Given these members have been with us at least two years, we expect only slightly elevated churn,” CEO Reed Hasting and CFO David Wells wrote in the letter.