Netflix Inc raised its monthly membership fee in the United States by $1 to $2 per month, depending on the plan, to help pay for new programs and compete in the crowded streaming TV market, the company announced on Friday.
In the United States, the base package, which allows for two simultaneous streams, is now $15.49 per month, up from $13.99 before.
Prices in Canada also increased, with the regular plan rising to C$16.49 from C$14.99.
After Reuters broke the news of the price hikes, Netflix's stock rose nearly 3% to $533.84 on Nasdaq. They ended the day at $525.69, up 1.3 percent.
For new customers, the hikes, which are the first in those areas since October 2020, took effect immediately. Existing members will be notified of the increased costs when they get their monthly invoices in the coming weeks.
"We understand people have more entertainment choices than ever and we’re committed to delivering an even better experience for our members," a Netflix spokesperson said.
"We’re updating our prices so that we can continue to offer a wide variety of quality entertainment options. As always we offer a range of plans so members can pick a price that works for their budget," the spokesperson added.
Companies aiming to draw consumers to online entertainment are putting pressure on the world's largest streaming service, which is facing the most competition it has ever faced. Walt Disney Co, AT&T Inc's WarnerMedia, Amazon.com Inc, and Apple Inc are just a few of the companies investing heavily in new programs.
Netflix has stated that it plans to spend $17 billion on programming in 2021. The corporation has not yet revealed its expenditure plans for 2022.
Netflix's premium plan, which allows for four simultaneous streams and super HD streaming, has been raised by $2 to $19.99 a month in the United States. Netflix's basic plan, which includes one stream, has increased in price by $1 to $9.99 per month.
The premium plan in Canada increased by $2 to C$20.99, while the basic plan remained at C$9.99.
Netflix's regular U.S. plan now costs more than competitors, at $15.49 per month. HBO Max, which is owned by AT&T Inc, is presently running a 12-month $11.99-per-month promotion.
Disney+ costs $7.99 per month or $79.99 per year, according to Walt Disney Co.
With 74 million streaming users as of September 2021, the United States and Canada are Netflix's largest regions. In the third quarter of 2021, the area contributed over 44% of the company's sales, or $3.3 billion.