No one likes price hikes, but that‘s exactly what Netflix has in store for US and Canadian subscribers in 2022. The streaming giant is bumping up monthly rates across all plans – its 6th increase over the past 8 years!
As a streaming analyst, I wanted to break down these new prices, why Netflix is raising them again, and most importantly, some cheaper alternatives you can switch to instead. Let‘s dive in!
Netflix 2022 Price Increase
According to Netflix‘s website, here are the new monthly prices:
|Standard (most popular)
The increases are in effect immediately for new subscribers. Existing users will see the new rates over the next 1-2 months.
While only $1-2 extra, over Netflix‘s 75 million members in the US and Canada, this really adds up! But why exactly is Netflix squeezing more money from us?
Reasons for the Price Hike
Based on the streaming market dynamics, here are the likely drivers behind Netflix boosting fees again:
Content Spending ($17B and Counting)
Netflix is projected to spend over $17 billion on content this year – up from $14.5 billion last year! From flagship shows like Stranger Things to new movies like Don‘t Look Up, all this original programming is costly. And with competitors like Disney and HBO Max also spending big, Netflix is forced to open its wallet wider to keep up.
From higher equipment prices to increased labor costs, Netflix‘s operating expenses are climbing thanks to inflationary pressures. Per Statista, streaming prices have risen 5% from 2020-2021 versus just a 1.4% overall inflation rate. Netflix is passing these added costs onto us subscribers.
Password Sharing Crackdown
Netflix began testing ways to monetize account sharing last year in select countries. But price hikes give them another lever to boost revenue from legitimate subscribers. The latest increase will likely offset any sharing revenue losses.
Netflix is still king with over 220M global subscribers. However, new services like Disney+, HBO Max, Apple TV+ and Paramount+ are chipping away at their dominance with must-have exclusive content. Once again, Netflix feels pressure to spend more to stay ahead.
With $25 billion in 2021 revenue and $5 billion in profit, Netflix certainly has some cushion to keep raising prices. But how much is too much?
How Much Can Netflix Push Customers?
Netflix has gotten away with gradual price hikes so far. But add in the crackdown on password sharing and continued increases, and subscriber frustration grows.
Surveys show consumers have a breaking point with streaming costs:
As Jupiter Research notes, each $1 price hike results in a churn increase between 0.5-0.75%. Netflix may be nearing the limit of squeezeing more from current members.
That‘s why now is a perfect time to explore cheaper streaming alternatives. Here are some top options:
5 Alternatives to Cut Netflix Costs
1. Kodi – 100% Free
Kodi is a free, open-source media center app. While Kodi itself has no content, you can install third-party add-ons to stream movies, TV, live channels, sports, and more. The downside is Kodi requires more technical setup vs. a dedicated streaming service.
2. Pluto TV – Free
Pluto TV offers over 250 free live TV channels and thousands of free on-demand movies and shows. While it‘s ad-supported, Pluto is a great way to cut the cord entirely. The convenience factor is much higher than Kodi.
3. Tubi – Free
Tubi has over 20,000 movies and TV shows available 100% free, albeit with commercials. The library may not be as robust as Netflix but it‘s commercial-free and updated weekly. Worth checking out before ditching Netflix.
4. HBO Max – $14.99/month
For premium programming, HBO Max could replace Netflix at a slightly lower monthly cost. You get all HBO content, Studio Ghibli films, DC movies and Max originals like Peacemaker. The 13,000+ title library rivals Netflix.
5. Peacock Premium – $4.99/month
NBCUniversal‘s Peacock features tons of shows like The Office and Modern Family, live sports, WWE, news, and more. Downgrade to the $5 Premium plan to ditch Netflix and save $10/month.
The days of Netflix being the one inexpensive streaming option are certainly over. By exploring free and lower-cost alternatives like Kodi, Pluto TV, Tubi or HBO Max, you can comfortably ditch Netflix if these latest price hikes are the last straw.
What do you think of the new Netflix price increases? Are you planning to cut the cord or stick it out? Let me know in the comments below!