Watch Out for Streaming Service Price Hikes in 2021

Watch Out for Streaming Service Price Hikes in 2021
Photo: Said Marroun, Shutterstock

Price hikes for streaming TV has become a new holiday tradition, as Netflix, and Disney+ have increased their subscription prices ahead of 2021. For that reason, year-end is a good time to confirm how much you’re paying for subscriptions, and cancel those that you’re barely using.

Recent TV streaming price hikes

Netflix increased the price of its basic plan from $9.99 to $10.99 per month a few months back. The standard plan went from $13.99 to $15.99 and Netflix’s premium plan (4K video and four simultaneous streams), sits at $19.99 per month. These changes are in effect for both new and old subscribers.

Disney+ announced in December that it’s increasing its monthly subscription price from $8.99 per month to $11.99 per month, and its yearly subscription goes up from $89 to $119.99. The price change is effective from February 23rd, 2021.

Stan currently has three pricing tiers for subscriptions. A basic subscription is $10 per month, where a standard plan (HD available) is $14 per month, and a premium subscription (4K Ultra HD available) is $19 per month.

This is in addition to other services you might also have, like:

  • Amazon Prime Video: $6.99 per month, or AUD $59 annually.
  • Binge: $10 per month for a basic subscription, $14 per month for standard and $18 per month for premium.
  • Apple TV: is included free for a year with eligible device purchases, and is $7.99 per month beyond that.
  • BritBox: new service BritBox is $8.99 per month or $89.99 per year.

Time for a streaming TV audit?

All told, these increases will probably only affect your overall streaming bill by a few dollars, even if you have more than one service (the average person has three paid TV subscriptions). Nor does this fact really make the case for getting a traditional cable box, which is still very expensive compared to TV streaming (the average cable bill is $US217.42 ($AU286), according to a Decision Data survey). A Foxtel subscription starts at $25 per month.

But these rate increases can add up over time, too, as these services all use “evergreen” automatic payment and yearly renewals via your credit card. If you want to cancel, you have to go out of your way to opt-out of renewal, and many people don’t. The danger is that it’s easy to overlook these increases over time — just look at Hulu’s live TV plan, which has gone up by $US25 ($33) per month in the last few years. That’s a lot of money if you aren’t paying attention to the cost.

If you’re unsure how much you spend on streaming TV, you’ll want to do a subscription audit: scan your credit card bills for subscriptions services, tally the cost, and decide what you want to cancel or keep — for more about subscription audits, read this Lifehacker post.

Since these services seem to increase late in the year, you might want to set up a corresponding annual subscription audit reminder in your calendar — it could be an easy way to save money.

Editor’s Note: This article was originally written for a U.S. audience, but we’ve done our best to update for Australian readers.

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