Dear Lifehacker, I just read that Netflix is planning to increase its prices on weekends. How does this work and will Australian customers be affected? Thanks, Weekend Binger
Netflix has confirmed it has been trialling different price points in Australia to see how customers react. However, the fact that some of these tests were conducted on weekends appears to be entirely coincidental.
"We continuously test new things at Netflix and these tests typically vary in length of time. In this case, we are testing slightly different price points to better understand how consumers value Netflix," a company representative explained to Lifehacker. "Reports that we are testing “weekend-only” pricing are inaccurate and entirely false."
To date, the new prices have only been tested periodically on new customers, resulting in a considerable price hike of between $1 and $3 per month. (Depending on the customer's chosen membership level.)
So will this new pricing be made official in Australia? If Netflix can be believed, existing customers have nothing to worry about (for now.)
"Not everyone will see this test and we may not ever offer it generally," Netflix said in a statement.
With that said, prices have gone up in other markets that Netflix operates in. In the US, the entry-level price is now $US9.99 per month - which is more than we currently pay in Australia. Mind you, US Netflix has a larger content library and different licensing agreements, so it's not like we're comparing identical products here.
There's also the passing of the so-called "Netflix Tax" to consider. Soon, overseas companies will start being charged GST for the sale of digital goods in Australia, including streaming services. It seems highly probably that Netflix will pass this tax onto its customers via higher monthly fees.
Assuming customers get slugged with the full GST, the current pricing tiers of $8.99, $11.99 and $14.99 per month will jump to $9.88, $13.18 and $16.48, respectively. As the adage goes, watch this space.
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