Netflix raises prices for US subscribers

January 16, 2019 09:19
Netflix is raising monthly fees for its US subscribers as it invests billions on original content in debt-fueled expansion. Photo: Reuters

Video streaming giant Netflix is raising monthly fees for its US subscribers as it seeks to boost revenues amid heavy spending on original content and international expansion.

Monthly subscription charges will go up 13 to 18 percent, depending on the plan, according to an announcement Tuesday.

Prices for its popular standard plan, which allows streaming on two devices at the same time, will rise to US$12.99 per month from US$10.99, Reuters reports.

The top-tier plan, which allows streaming on four screens in high definition, will now cost US$15.99, against US$13.99 previously, while the fee for its basic plan will rise to US$8.99 from US$7.99.

In comparison, HBO Now streaming service charges US$14.99 per month, while Hulu’s no-advertisements plan is priced at US$11.99 per month, the report noted.

Netflix's fee hike comes as it spends billions to bolster original content to fend off intensifying competition from players such as Amazon's Prime Video and Hulu.

The aggressive spending -- a planned US$8 billion in 2018 -- has led to a surge in subscriber growth, but it has come at a cost in the form of increased debt burden.

Netflix's debt doubled to US$6.5 billion in 2017 from US$3.36 billion the previous year.

The streaming giant had 137 million customers globally at the end of September.

Netflix shares soared 6.5 percent on Tuesday following the news of the price hike. The company is scheduled to report its fourth-quarter results after market close on Thursday.

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