Netflix is Getting Pricier so It Can Fund More Original Content

Streaming giant Netflix announced on Friday that it would be raising its monthly prices from $1 to $2 across the United States and Canada in an effort to help the platform fund more original content.

The news comes as Netflix looks to try and stand out amongst the continually-crowded streaming platform.

Netflix's starter package, its "basic" plan, rose from $8.99 to $9.99, according to the company's website. This plan allows for only one stream at a time, as well as downloads from only a single device, but does not allow for HD streaming.

The next option up, Netflix's "standard" plan, is being bumped up a tad more—from $13.99 to $15.49. This package allows users to stream on two devices at once, and unlike the "basic" plan, allows HD streaming of movies and television shows.

Netflix's highest package, the "premium" plan, is now $19.99, a $2 increase from its previous $17.99 price tag. The package with the most offerings, the "premium" plan allows for HD and Ultra HD streaming on four different devices at once, and as such is often geared toward families.

Netflix is raising its prices in an effort to remain more competitive in the streaming market. Many of the funds will reportedly go toward helming original content. Here, the Netflix logo can be seen in a stock image. Olivier Doulier/Getty

Users north of the border will also see similar price increases, as the "standard" and "premium" plans in Canada are being raised by C$1.50 and C$2, respectively. The "basic" plan in Canada will stay the same price.

These increases represent the first price hikes from the company since October 2020. Existing Netflix users will reportedly see the new prices take effect within the next few weeks, while new users will see the prices immediately.

"We understand people have more entertainment choices than ever and we're committed to delivering an even better experience for our members," a Netflix spokesperson said in a statement. "We're updating our prices so that we can continue to offer a wide variety of quality entertainment options."

The company hinted that it plans to use the additional funds to create more original content after spending $17 billion in 2021. The production of original content has become somewhat of a hallmark for Netflix in recent years, with a number of shows receiving accolades and massive viewership numbers.

One notable standout is The Crown, the Olivia Colman-led show centered on the life of the Royal Family. The series became a massive hit and has received a staggering 63 Primetime Emmy nominations throughout its four seasons.

Another hit was 2020's The Queen's Gambit. The eight-episode anthology focused on the life of a chess prodigy played by Anya Taylor-Joy and won 11 Primetime Emmys while at one point being the platform's most-watched miniseries.

However, the obvious jewel of the platform is the South Korean-made Squid Game. The Lee Jung-jae-helmed show was released to international acclaim and has become Netflix's most-watched series ever, with over 1.65 billion viewing hours in its first 28 days.

Netflix's original content will likely keep being pumped out in an effort to remain competitive in the ever-advancing world of television streaming, which continues to see more and more players enter the arena.

Platforms such as Hulu and Peacock offer similarly priced packages that allow for streaming. At the same time, entertainment giants have begun to produce their own platforms that offer bundled streaming packages, such as HBO Max.

However, Netflix still remains at the top of the mountain with a reported 213 million worldwide users. This is significantly higher than even platforms like Disney+, which, despite having the massive marketing power of Disney, still only had a reported 118 million users at the end of 2021.

Newsweek has reached out to Netflix for comment.