January 21, 2019
Another day, another prognostication how Netflix’s price hikes will affect subscribers.
New data from Hub Entertainment Research finds most subs will not stop service as Netflix ups plan pricing from $1 to $2. The Portsmouth, N.H.-based research firm said any impact on subscribers would likely occur among those paying $15.99 monthly for the premium plan enabling access to Ultra HD content and up to four screens concurrently.
Indeed, 69% of survey respondents said they would keep their current plan, while 16% said they would drop to a lower-priced plan. Just 9% said they would drop the service, while 6% said they would switch to a more expensive plan.
Netflix, which no longer discloses subscriber churn, added 29 million subscribers in 2018 to end the year with 137 million.
Among basic subs, 76% said they would keep the plan, with 12% considering upgrading to more-expensive plan. Just 8% of standard and 10% of premium plan subs said they would drop Netflix.
Hub said 24% of standard subs indicated a desire to downgrade to the $8.99 basic plan, while 27% of premium subs said they plan to downgrade.
While 70% of subscribers have heard about the price hike, about 50% said they were unhappy about it.
Survey respondents ranged from 8% who said they were “angry,” 38% who said they were “annoyed,” 39% who were “accepting,” and 15% who were “positive.”
“This research shows that Reed Hastings is right when he says that consumers choose based on value, not just price,” Jon Giegengack, principal at Hub, said in a statement. “Despite the increase, the great majority of customers say they’ll keep their subscription. However, the fact that half are unhappy shows that Netflix can’t raise prices indefinitely, and that higher fees make delivering on the promise of high-quality exclusive content more important than ever.”
Among standard (51%) and premium (44%) subs, they were more likely to be “annoyed” or “angry” about the price hike than basic (37%) subs.
“In some respects, the timing of the price hike announcement couldn’t have been better for Netflix, coming on the heels of its enormous viewership success with Bird Box, the buzz about Bandersnatch,and its strong subscriber growth in Q4,” said Peter Fondulas, co-author of the study. “But in an increasingly competitive SVOD marketplace, even a $1 to $2 price increase can lead subscribers to start considering alternatives.”