Emma Corrin as Princess Diana in “The Crown” Season 4 (Courtesy of Netflix)
Netflix will raise rates for all streaming plans in the U.K. and Ireland, marking the company’s second price hike in the region in less than 18 months.
The price increases come after Netflix similarly raised subscription fees in the U.S. and Canada in January, amid a tide of new competitors and its continued spending on original content like hit series “The Crown,” whose fifth season is set to bow in November.
The streamer’s Standard plan (with two HD streams) is rising in the U.K. by £1 to £10.99/month and in Ireland it’s going up by €2 to €14.99/month. Netflix’s Basic package (one non-HD stream) is also going up by £1 to £6.99/month in the U.K. and by €1 to €8.99 in Ireland — the first time the company is increasing prices for that tier. The Netflix Premium service (four streams in up to 4K HD) will go up by £2 in the UK to £15.99/month and by €3 in Ireland, to €20.99/month.
“Our updated prices reflect the investment we have made in our service and catalog and will allow us to continue making the series, documentaries and films our members love as well as investing in talent and the creative industry,” Netflix said in a statement. “We offer a range of plans so members can choose a price that works best for them.”
Netflix has about 14 million subscribers in the U.K. and 600,000 in Ireland, according to research firm Ampere Analysis. As of the end of 2021, Netflix had 221.8 million paid streaming subscribers worldwide.
The price increases in the U.K. and Ireland go into effect immediately for new subscribers, while existing subscribers will receive a 30-day notice for when their rates will go up depending on their billing cycle.
It’s the first increase to the U.K.’s Basic package in 10 years and the first increase in Ireland in eight years. Netflix last raised prices in the U.K. on its two highest tiers in December 2020 and in Ireland in March 2021.
According to Netflix, there’s a “growing global appetite for British content.” The U.K. is Netflix’s biggest production hub outside the U.S. and Canada, with a content budget of $1 billion in 2020 (resulting in more than 10,000 jobs for cast and crew).
On Netflix’s fourth quarter 2021 earnings call in January, COO and chief product officer Greg Peters discussed the company’s strategy to determine how and when to raise prices. Netflix analyzes metrics like engagement, sign-ups and churn (cancelation rates), he said, which “are really our signal that we’ve done a good job at sort of creating more value, and it’s the right time to ask for a little bit more to keep that going.”
Peters continued, “And so if we have incredible stories, movies that you can only see on Netflix, great TV shows, unscripted, now games coming, then… the value equation for any given member or member-to-be in a market is just are they getting good value for what they’re paying.”
Variety's Todd Spangler contributed to this post.