Despite raising North American prices a year ago, Netflix is cheaper in more than 30 countries. Although that may seem a contradiction at first glance, the company appears to be experimenting with the right balance of global revenue and subscriber growth as viewer habits change post-lockdowns.
The company has cut prices up to half in parts of the Middle East (Yemen, Jordan, Libya and Iran), Sub-Saharan Africa (Kenya), Europe (Croatia, Slovenia and Bulgaria), Latin America (Nicaragua, Ecuador and Venezuela ) and Asia (Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand and the Philippines). Although frequent price hikes have become a regular occurrence for Netflix, it also introduced a cheaper ad-supported plan in 12 countries in October.
The subscription price reductions come as several other streaming services (including Disney+, Hulu and Sling TV) have raised prices recently. “It certainly goes against recent trends not only for Netflix, but for the broader streaming industry,” said John Hodulik, media and entertainment analyst at UBS Group AG. The Wall Street Journal. “Some of these cuts on a one percent basis are pretty big,” he said.
In Netflix’s January earnings call, co-CEO Greg Peters said the company wants to find places where it can raise prices, which would help fund new investments in content. “We think of ourselves as an irreplaceable asset,” Peters said. The regional price increase allows Netflix to add subscribers in global markets where its share can be higher. The fact that rival services, including Disney +, HBO Max and Paramount +, are expanding around the world probably weighed in the decision.
Netflix is still pushing a new monthly fee for people who share their login credentials outside of their homes. After testing the program in Latin America, the company launched paid account sharing in Canada, New Zealand, Portugal and Spain. The new fee is $8 in Canada and New Zealand, €4 in Portugal and €6 in Spain. It is expected to arrive in the US early this year.
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