Despite some recent setbacks (namely the end of the Disney streaming agreement), Netflix keeps rolling along as the undisputed heavyweight champion of the streaming world. Still, even with subscribers pouring in left and right and its stock climbing ever higher, Netflix isn’t without its problems. Recent estimates claim that the streaming leader loses approximately $400 million in potential revenue each year due to password sharing, and the breakup with Disney has some outlets urging investors to dump Netflix stock out of claims of it being overvalued. Netflix might actually be feeling the sting of these issues, based on some recent events. Over the last year, Netflix has been quietly raising prices in some of its biggest markets, starting with the U.S., then in Australia, and in Canada just last week. Now, news sites in several European countries are reporting further increases in Netflix prices. Do these signal trouble at the streaming giant?
Business Insider broke the story in the English-speaking world, reporting on a Swedish news story. The change in monthly prices applies to customers in the Nordic countries which include Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland, and Iceland. The price of Netflix’s basic one screen, streaming-only plan remains unchanged, while prices for standard plans went up 10% and premium plans rose by 17% for subscribers in those countries.
When asked for a statement by the Swedish news site, a Netflix spokesperson reportedly gave nearly the exact same answer they gave Canadian reporters last week:
Every once in awhile, the Netflix pricing plan is adjusted as we add a growing amount of exclusive tv-shows and films, introduce new products and features, and improve the overall Netflix-experience in order to help members find something nice to watch even faster.
That answer is probably taped to the phone of every Netflix spokesperson by now. The hikes in subscription prices are effective immediately for both new and existing members as of August 10th. With so much bad news coming out of the Netflix world lately, could these price hikes be a hint that Netflix’s runaway success might be facing its first major obstacles?