Netflix’s price increase has positive student response

By Sarah Fischer

In recent years, Netflix has become a major leader in the entertainment industry, but Jan. 8 the streaming giant announced it will once more be raising its prices and NIU students have expressed their opinions on the matter.

The price increase will take effect with consumers’ billing cycles, so the exact timing of the increase will differ between accounts with the cheapest, non-HD one-screen plan increasing to $8.99 per month. The most expensive plan with availability to simultaneously stream in HD on four devices will rise to $15.99 per month.

“I am not happy with the price increases,” Kaela Malloe, a sociology major at NIU in her junior year said, “but it will still be cheaper than cable and hopefully still maintains its commercial free promise.”

With the growing consumer demand for quality shows and movies comes a monumental production cost for the company. At the upcoming 91st Academy Awards, two films from Netflix have been nominated for several awards including “Roma” whose 10 nominations tied “The Favourite” for most the nominations. “The Ballad of Buster Scruggs” was also nominated for three Oscars, including Best Original Song.

In many cases, famous actors can also drive up the budget or quality of a film like 2018’s “Bird Box,” which had a lower-end $19.8 million budget, but a multitude of famous actors like Sandra Bullock, Trevante Rhodes, John Malkovich and Sarah Paulson all added high quality to the film.

Dayton LeClerq, a history major in her junior year at NIU said Netflix does have drawbacks, like not offering active shows that premiere weekly, but the positives outweigh the negatives regarding content.

“Netflix offers more variety than a standard TV package which would make you to pay extra for certain channels,” she said, also noting because of the absence of ads, “you are actually paying for content versus having to pay for people to sell you stuff.”

A company which makes decisions that affect its consumers, either minimally or otherwise, will always be scrutinized for its choices. As a business though, Netflix is in no danger of losing an enormous amount of subscribers due to price increase simply because the cost is still cheaper than cable, and most of the content offered is growing in quality as competition gets more fierce between streaming companies.