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Speaking For - and Against - Netflix's Price Hike
Posted on April 25th 2014
Well, it looks as though on-demand has become a bit more challenging.
Recently, Netflix made the announcement that it would be raising prices for new subscribers. Later on this quarter, new subscribers will have to play $1 to $2 more every month – depending on their country – in order to access Netflix’s broad on-demand library. The company made it a point to say that current members will be able to stay within their current $7.99 per month contract for a “generous time period.” What this exactly entails is unclear.
When I first read this story, I knew that there was going to be a tremendous amount of backlash and I wasn’t far off. After all, raising prices on anything is an endeavor that will, more likely than not, be met with vitriol from certain groups. For example, have you ever met someone who would go on about how a cup of coffee used to cost less than a dollar a number of decades ago when they look at how even the smallest cup, these days, is closer to five dollars? The case of Netflix’s future price hike is similar, as any online marketing firm could attest to.
In my view, those who are not subscribed to Netflix have no reason to complain. Since they do not owe Netflix a monthly fee for their services, the ones that are in right, when it comes to being concerned, are those who have been customers over the course of time. When they have been paying a certain amount to have access to shows like “House of Cards” for quite a few years, only to have the tables turned out of nowhere, it’s understandable that they would respond with criticism.
With that said, though, is this a story that will be met with nothing but scathing remarks from all sides?
Netflix is in the fortunate position where its user base is, to put it simply, loyal. In fact, RBC Capital Markets conducted a survey, which indicated that 66% of Netflix subscribers were either extremely or very satisfied with the product. This is due in part to the fact that Netflix has surpassed YouTube as the top video website. Of course, gaining customers is one task. The idea of retaining said customers is another story entirely.
However, it doesn’t seem like this has been a problem for Netflix, either. The survey in question also showed that 69% of all subscribers were not likely to cancel within the next three months. This does not come across as overly surprising, seeing as how Netflix has, more or less, become the new way to watch television. If cable is not dead, it is surely on its way out. On-demand is where television is moving and Netflix is at the helm of the proverbial ship. No matter how people may react to an announced price hike from the company, I have no reason to believe that it will be detrimental to their long-term growth.