Netflix is about to hike the price of its most popular plan by 25 percent for all streaming customers, to $9.99 per month for the streaming service.
Starting in May, the No. 1 streaming service's standard HD service for those previously paying $7.99 monthly will increase by $2, based on member billing periods. "Impacted members will be clearly notified by email and within the service so that they have time to decide which plan/price point works best for them," Netflix said in a statement.
Netflix previously announced that starting in the second quarter of 2016, a "substantial number" of U.S. subs will see the price hike. They will have the option of continuing at $7.99 for a single-stream, standard-definition plan, or keep the HD service for $9.99 a month.
"Given these members have been with us at least two years, we expect only slightly elevated churn," Netflix CEO Reed Hastings and CFO David Wells wrote in a letter to shareholders in January.
In October, Netflix boosted the price of the two-stream HD plan to $10 for new members in the U.S., Canada and Latin America. "Last October's price increase for newer members included a one-year hold and will go into effect in October of this year," Netflix said. Even at $9.99, Netflix's standard plan is cheaper than Hulu's commercial-free subscription tier ($11.99 per month), as well as HBO Now ($14.99) and Showtime's over-the-top service ($10.99).
About 17 million Netflix subscribers will be affected by the HD plan price hike that commences in May, according to UBS analyst Doug Mitchelson.
Netflix ended 2015 with 74.76 million streaming customers worldwide, including 44.74 million in the U.S.