Ask LH: Is Netflix Increasing Its Prices In Australia?

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

Dear WB,

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.

Cheers Lifehacker

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Comments

    'Trialing' Let's increase the price and see if our customers enjoy it. I love paying more!

    ...a considerable price hike of between $1 and $3 a month.What a time to be alive, when $1 a month is a "considerable" amount of money.

      When you pay $10 a month for a service, $1 is a 10% increase in price. So $1 may not be a lot but a 10% price increase is considerable.

    How would that work then? Because If I'm paying a set price per month and I get a bill for weekend usage, I'm out!

      Some people looked at the price page. Netflix showed different prices to some people to measure what prices people would still sign up with. This happened to be on a weekend.

      Your price will not change without them giving you fair warning. Last time it went up in the US they kept all current customers on the cheaper plan for something like 18 months.

      We will probably see a price rise when the GST is added though. They may eat it for awhile, but not for long.

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