The film and TV streaming service Netflix, is raising the cost of its most popular packages by a £1 a month.
The monthly fee for UK subscribers on the standard, two-device package will go up from £8.99 to £9.99 from February, while the cost of its premium package, popular with larger families because it runs on more screens, will rise by £2 to £13.99.
The company, which came of age in 2020 as lockdown customers sought solace in TV boxsets and films, said the price rises reflected money it had spent on new content.
There would be no price rise for customers on the most basic £5.99 a month package, which allows users to watch Netflix in standard definition on one device at a time, Netflix said. Customers are not tied into contracts and can cancel at any time.
During the first national lockdown, which started in March 2020, the amount of streaming content watched by consumers rose by a third compared with the previous year.
The streaming service’s subscriber numbers have jumped during the pandemic, with almost 16 million new customers added worldwide in the first three months of 2020 alone. Its share price has risen From $300 in March to around $500 this week.
However, Netflix has increasingly faced competition from rivals, such as Disney+, which has also announced price rises of £2 per month up to £7.99.
Netflix said: “This year we’re spending over $1bn [£736m] in the UK on new, locally-made films, series and documentaries, helping to create thousands of jobs and showcasing British storytelling at its best – with everything from The Crown, to Sex Education and Top Boy, plus many, many more.
“Our price change reflects the significant investments we’ve made in new TV shows and films, as well as improvements to our product.”
Nick Baker, streaming and TV expert at Uswitch.com, said: “Netflix has been a lifeline for many people during lockdown, so this price rise is an unwanted extra expense for households feeling the financial pressure.
“It’s unfortunate timing that this price hike coincides with another national lockdown, when all of us will be streaming more television and films than ever.”