You Can Still 'Netflix and Chill' in Manila For the Same Price
Streaming giant Netflix is raising the prices of its subscription plans for U.S. customers to help finance the production of its original content, the company announced on January 15.
The company’s most popular plan in the U.S., which offers high-definition (HD) streaming for two devices, will now cost $13 (P678), up from $11 (P574). The basic plan of $8 (P417) will go up to $9 (P469). Its most extensive plan, which allows HD streaming for up to four devices, will go up to $16 a month from $14.
"Just to clarify, the price increase only applies to U.S. and select markets in Latin America and the Caribbean. It is not applicable to the APAC markets, including the Philippines," a spokesman for Netflix Asia Pacific said.
Currently, the standard Netflix plan in the Philippines costs P460 a month, the basic plan is P370, and the premium plan is P564.
According to AP, the new cash flow will help Netflix pay up its ballooning debt, estimated at $12 billion (P626.3 billion). The company has been burning its pockets to muscle up its portfolio as competition stiffens in the streaming arena.
Disney has long announced that it's launching its streaming platform later this year and Apple is also rumored to be ready to introduce a similar service of their own anytime this 2019. Even NBCUniversal, home of some of the most popular TV shows like Saturday Night Live and hit movie franchises such as Fast and Furious, has announced it is entering the streaming space.
Already, Netflix’s subscribers in the U.S. are lamenting the price hikes with some even pledging to end their subscriptions immediately. As of the third quarter of 2018, Netflix has more than 58 million subscribers in the US with 138 million in total worldwide.
But can anyone really blame the company for charging more if they are producing award-winning content?
Just this month, Netflix's original film Roma, directed by esteemed Mexican director Alfonso Cuaron, won a Golden Globe and the Best Picture at the Critics Choice Awards. With those recognitions in the bag, it wouldn’t be a surprise if it wins the Academy Award for Best Picture too.
And really, what are a few more dollars if it means fans will get another season of Stranger Things and Black Mirror?