Of all the things you might wish about Netflix, "I wish it was more expensive" probably isn't one of them. But Netflix intends to increase the price of its ad-free streaming nevertheless, and it could be imminent now that the writers' strike is over and the actors's strike may soon be over too.
That's according to the Wall Street Journal, which reports that Netflix intends to make the change in the US and Canada first. I can't think offhand of any times when Netflix has upped its US prices and hasn't then done the same in other markets, so clearly it's not a case of if UK prices are going to go up but when it'll happen.
Netflix isn't the only streaming giant increasing prices: Amazon is going to start putting ads into Prime Video and charge extra to get rid of them, Disney+ is going up and just today Discovery Plus in the US announced its first ever price increase.
What will Netflix cost after the increase?
We don't know yet, but the usual rate for an ad-free streaming service in the US is currently between $13.99 and $17.99, so Netflix is likely to be at the higher end for its Standard tier. In the US, Netflix is currently $9.99 a month for Basic, $15.49 for Standard and $19.99 for Premium. In the UK, Standard is £10.99 and Premium £15.99 a month. The ad-based version is currently £4.99.
The key difference between the tiers is that only the Premium version offers 4K UHD and spatial audio; the number of simultaneous streams is 4 compared to Standard's 2 and you can download to 6 devices instead of 2.
Those prices are all for single household use. If you want to add additional users who don't live under the same roof, that's an extra £4.99 per person per month.
It does look like the golden days of cord cutting are over: my Netflix, Prime, Disney and Apple subscriptions collectively cost more than I used to pay for satellite or cable TV, and it's getting increasingly hard to justify spending money on multiple subs – especially as the aftermath of the strikes will mean a dearth of really compelling content in the months to come.