Why Netflix’s Price Increase is No Big Deal
Never say never.
I used to hate walnuts, for example. Now I’m putting ‘em in oatmeal, salads, you name it. Turns out they’re good, and good for you!
Likewise, back in 2011, when Netflix split its DVD-rental and movie-streaming businesses in two, lots of people swore off the service. “Pay $7.99 just for streaming?!
Yeah, and not long after, you came crawling back, didn’t you? Because, let’s face it, Netflix is the best deal on anything ever. Seriously. You’re practically ripping them off. A mere eight bucks per month buys you unlimited streaming of movies and TV shows.
Eight bucks. You can scarcely walk out of Starbucks without spending that. A single movie ticket costs you 10 bucks. A single season of “Mad Men” purchased from iTunes? That’s $35. A couple hours of bowling with shoe rental? Probably $12.
Granted, Netflix doesn’t offer the latest movie releases or the current season of “Mad Men,” but it’s still a ridiculously good value.
That’s why I wasn’t shedding any tears over this week’s news that Netflix plans to raise its rates. Heck, I couldn’t generate a trace of eye moisture. Because even if Netflix suddenly cost double, it would still be worth it.
Of course, Netflix will not cost double. According to CEO Reed Hastings, who made non-specific comments in an earnings-report webcast, new Netflix customers will pay a monthly rate that’s $1-2 higher — so, either $8.99 or $9.99, still less than the price of a movie ticket.
Current subscribers will be grandfathered in at the current $7.99 rate, though for exactly how long, Hastings didn’t say. But that’s exceedingly fair, and hopefully it will quiet the cantankerous few who think they’re suddenly being gouged.
Because, let’s face it, Netflix is the best deal on anything ever, and that’s true even if it costs $8.99 monthly or, horrors, $9.99.
Amazon, for its part, recently raised the rates for its Prime service, which now runs $99 annually (up from $79).
And don’t forget that Netflix offers some shockingly good original programming you can’t get anywhere else: “Orange is the New Black,” “House of Cards,” and “Arrested Development,” for example. (Okay, the fourth season of “AD” wasn’t exactly original, and in fact was a devastating disappointment–but you still couldn’t watch it anywhere else.)
It may seem weird for me to defend a price increase, especially when I’m constantly gnashing my teeth over my ever-increasing cable bill. But cable is woefully overpriced to begin with, so the extra couple bucks every few months feels like insult to injury.
Netflix, on the other hand, is a steal. And that’s why I think this teeny price increase is no big deal.