Netflix hikes costs in UK but Irish subscribers safe for now

Streaming service says it is to increase prices as it invests more in original content

A scene from Sex Education,  one of a number of British programmes backed by Netflix in recent years

A scene from Sex Education, one of a number of British programmes backed by Netflix in recent years

 

Netflix has confirmed price increases for UK subscribers but said there are no immediate plans to raise the cost of subscription plans in the Republic of Ireland.

The streaming service said that both standard and premium plans in the UK would be rising by up to 20 per cent as of tomorrow as the streaming service boosts spending on original content ahead of the launch of Disney’s planned offering, which is set to launch later this year.

The company said that standard plans will increase by £1 to £8.99 per month while a premium subscription will rise by £2 to £11.99. The price of Netflix’s basic plan, which does not include HD, is unchanged at £5.99.

“We change pricing from time to time as we continue investing in great entertainment and improving the overall Netflix experience for the benefit of our members,” a spokesperson for the company said in a statement.

“With more than 50 productions planned in the UK this year, including new seasons of Black Mirror, Sex Education and After Life, we believe in providing great choice for everyone. And the good news is that our basic membership will remain at the same price, allowing as many people as possible the ability to access our content,” the spokesperson added.

Netflix has about 10 million subscribers in the UK and 140 million globally. It said this was the first price rise for British customers since late 2017.

In the Republic, prices rises were announced in October 2017. A basic subscription plan here now costs €7.99, while a standard one, which allows users to view content on two screens at the same time, costs €10.99. The premium four screen plan is €13.99.

The company now spends about $10 billion (€8.8 billion) a year on content. However, it faces increased competition, not just from Amazon, but also from Apple and Disney, which recently closed a $71.3 billion deal for 21st Century Fox to create a behemoth which will be able to offer content including Star Wars, Avatar and The Simpsons.