TL;DR: Netflix is reportedly planning to increase the cost of its ad-free plan a few months after the conclusion of the Hollywood actors strike, sources familiar with the streaming giant's inner workings have told The Wall Street Journal.
The publication was not able to ascertain exactly when Netflix will make the change or by how much prices will go up, but it is believed that US and Canada will be among the first markets to see the hike. Unsurprisingly, Netflix declined to comment when reached by the Journal.
As the write-up highlights, the cost of several major ad-free streaming services has increased by about 25 percent on average over the last year or so, in part to get cost-conscious customers to switch to cheaper yet more lucrative ad-supported plans.
Streaming providers are also increasingly exploring new tiers centered on exclusive programming, such as live sports. Disney is said to be considering a live sports tier for markets outside of the US, and Warner Bros. Discovery will soon be adding live sports to its Max streaming service. Eventually, the sports package will command an extra $9.99 per month. Apple, meanwhile, already offers Major League Soccer's MLS Season Pass through its Apple TV+ platform.
Netflix has not increased prices since early 2022, but you would be forgiven for thinking otherwise. Over the summer, the streamer discontinued its most affordable ad-free tier in the US and the UK. The outgoing plan was priced at $9.99 per month; now, the cheapest commercial-free plan will set you back $15.49 each month.
Starting October 12, Disney will increase the cost of its ad-free streaming plans. Disney+ Premium, which currently costs $10.99 per month, is going up to $13.99 a month, an increase of more than 27 percent.
Netflix is the king of streaming, and all eyes will be on it over the coming months - and especially once the strikes end - to see what sort of price adjustments they have in store.
Image credit: Thibault Penin