Netflix announced at the start of the year that it is raising prices on its subscription plans in the biggest increase since the streaming service began. 

Although its corporate office claims it is using the money to improve the “Netflix experience,” will subscribers pay the extra few bucks for mainly Netflix Originals?

While Netflix used to be a popular choice due to its bare minimum price of $8, the recent price increase has inched the service even closer to the price of its strong competitors like Amazon and Hulu. Many major networks have begun to announce their own streaming services as well, adding to Netflix’s list of competitors. 

A major blow to the streaming service is going to come when it officially cuts ties with Disney once that company releases its own streaming service called Disney+. This service will have original content from Star Wars and Marvel, two popular brands with huge fanbases. Many may not be willing or able to pay for both services after the separation and may choose the streaming service with their favorite content.

Netflix has upped its game a little with Netflix Original hits, like 2018 horror film Bird Box and popular TV shows such as Stranger Things, that have gotten the internet talking. While this may increase the number of viewers, they are costly to produce for the company. 

One film in particular, interactive thriller Black Mirror: Bandersnatch, is the cause of a lawsuit from the “choose-your-own-adventure” book publisher. The publisher claims Netflix used its trademark without its permission and is destroying its image. This might be another blow for the already debt-ridden company.

People are also in the market to watch old favorites as well, as shown when the Internet nearly imploded with the news that Friends was to be available through 2019. A $100 million deal was made with Warner Media to keep the show streaming, compared to the $30 million bill before. The show is wildly popular on the service, with some going so far as to say that the only reason they are subscribers is to watch the series. If Netflix continues to replace classics with original content, will they eventually lose all their viewers to other streaming sites?

With all this talk of increased competition and potentially less viewers, however, Netflix doesn’t seem to be worried. The price hikes are expected to give the service $1 billion in additional revenue, stock rose 6.5 percent after the increase and subscribers are still predicted to increase. Netflix’s chief executive Reed Hastings contributed to the smugness by saying, “There’s never been so much TV and movies being created around the world. So the game is on.”

If unique content that you may not find anywhere else is more your speed, then Netflix is your streaming service. Otherwise, many new streaming services are out there that offer fan favorites and original content. 

If Netflix doesn’t step it up, it may become just as irrelevant as MySpace — lost in the past as a fond memory.

Charlotte Caldwell is a freshman studying journalism at Ohio University. Please note that the views and opinions of the columnists do not reflect those of The Post. Want to talk to Charlotte? Email her at cc670717@ohio.edu

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