Netflix Canada hikes prices as com­pe­ti­tion in­creases

Cape Breton Post - - Arts/Entertainment -

Watch­ing your favourite shows on Netflix Canada just got a lit­tle more ex­pen­sive.

The pop­u­lar video stream­ing ser­vice is hik­ing prices for new mem­bers ef­fec­tive im­me­di­ately. It will do the same for ex­ist­ing users af­ter no­ti­fy­ing them by email in the com­ing weeks.

Netflix’s stan­dard plan will now cost a dol­lar more — or $10.99 a month — to watch con­tent on two screens at a time.

The ba­sic plan, which does not of­fer high def­i­ni­tion video and only per­mits one stream­ing screen at a time, also goes up a dol­lar to $8.99 a month.

Pre­mium plan sub­scribers will pay $2 more for up to four si­mul­ta­ne­ous streams and ul­tra high-def­i­ni­tion 4K con­tent. It will now cost $13.99 monthly.

It’s the first price in­crease in nearly two years that af­fects sub­scribers in Canada.

Netflix says it made the de­ci­sion in an ef­fort to bol­ster its con­tent and ser­vices. The price change only im­pacts Cana­dian sub­scribers.

“From time to time, Netflix plans and pric­ing are ad­justed as we add more ex­clu­sive TV shows and movies, in­tro­duce new prod­uct fea­tures and im­prove the over­all Netflix ex­pe­ri­ence, to help mem­bers find some­thing great to watch even faster,’’ it said in a state­ment.

Netflix has in­vested heav­ily in pro­duc­ing its own orig­i­nal con­tent in re­cent years, in­clud­ing “House of Cards,’’ “Ozark’’ and a slate of fea­ture films bought at in­ter­na­tional film fes­ti­vals.

The com­pany also faces a grow­ing num­ber of other com­peti­tors who are seek­ing the Cana­dian rights for buz­zwor­thy TV se­ries and movies, and po­ten­tially driv­ing up the ac­qui­si­tion costs.

CraveTV, which is owned by Bell Me­dia, holds the rights to Showtime TV shows and some con­tent from U.S. stream­ing site Hulu, while Ama­zon Prime Video ac­quired stream­ing li­cences for “Mr. Robot’’ and Starz ca­ble se­ries “Amer­i­can Gods.’’

Netflix pur­chases the Cana­dian rights to U.S. net­work shows as well, in­clud­ing ABC’s “Scan­dal’’ and the CW’s “Riverdale.’’

But ear­lier this week CBS Corp. an­nounced plans to dive into the Cana­dian mar­ket­place with its CBS All Ac­cess stream­ing ser­vice early next year. At once it’ll be vy­ing to at­tract its own sub­scribers, while also com­pet­ing for stream­ing rights and valu­able li­brary con­tent.

Netflix gen­er­ally raises its prices by coun­try based on the lo­cal mar­ket. In June, the com­pany bumped up the monthly bill for Aus­tralian users by a few dol­lars, say­ing it was re­spond­ing to a lo­cal tax in­crease.

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