Netflix May Have Raised the Price of its 4K Streams but it’s also Producing New Content

by on October 20, 2014

by Stephan Jukic – October 20th, 2014

As we’ve already covered, digital streaming content provider and 4K content pioneer Netflix has very recently raised the price of its streaming service which offers 4K Ultra HD movies and shows.

Previously, since the 4K offerings were first unveiled to the public, they were also included as part of the company’s “Basic” plan which cost just $8.99 per month. Now, for all new subscribers who want to get their hands on Netflix’s 4K streams of shows such as “Breaking Bad”, “House of Cards” and “Orange is the New Black”, accessing these will only be available via subscription to the “family” plan offered by the company, which costs a little bit more than the “basic” plan at $11.99 per month.

In addition to the full and growing library of 4K content that comes with it, the family plan also offers the benefit of allowing for four shows/movies to be streamed simultaneously, which is useful for households with multiple TVs.

Users who want to enjoy Netflix 4K streams will also, of course, need to have an internet connection that offers at least 25 Mbps, which isn’t necessary for the more basic Full HD streams by Netflix.

Some new subscribers to Netflix may be annoyed by the slight price increase for getting their hands on 4K shows and movies but the company justifies the changes, at least in part, by arguing that it is also going to producing and adding plenty of new offerings to its Ultra HD selection.

Currently, the Netflix 4K selection is considerably smaller than its HD selection of content but the company has already promised to add new shows and that all of the Netflix Original series and movies it films as of now will also be available in 4K Ultra HD.

Some examples of what users can look forward to include “Orange is the New Black”, the popular prison life comedy drama and a whole series of new Adam Sandler movies being made exclusively with Netflix and due for release over the next four years.

Netflix Main interface

Netflix may cost more but its UHD stream selection is expanding

Another reason for the pricing changes of the company’s 4K package is the fact that the company is also facing some serious cashflow problems due to outstanding financial obligations.

Currently, Netflix owes $7.72 billion USD for content streaming obligations, $3.3 billion of which has to be paid out within the next year. In addition to this, Netflix also has to pay regular annual licensing fees to major TV networks and bandwidth usage fees to major ISPs Comcast and Verizon.

The weight of streaming 4K more widely will only add to those payments to the ISPs and Netflix is anticipating this with its price bump on 4K content streams, which it hopes will become an attractive enough proposition to consumers and create many more subscribers as 4K becomes more popular and the TVs more common.

All existing subscribers of Netflix “Basic” Plan, who were subscribing to 4K content since before the price change will be indefinitely grandfathered in at the lower price.

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