Streaming services are adding more content than ever these days — thanks to increased demand and a struggling COVID-era movie theater industry.
The arms race between streaming services means they’re spending more on content, and they’re passing that increased cost to us.
Two of the biggest streaming titans, Netflix and Disney+, have made price changes. But you don’t necessarily have to feel the pinch.
Here’s what you need to know:
A Netflix subscription costs up to $2/month more for new members.
Netflix has raised prices four times since they introduced streaming, and they just announced their fifth price hike on Oct. 30, 2020.
- Netflix Premium, which lets you stream up to 4 screens at a time in Ultra HD, increased from $16 to $18/month — up 12.5%.
- Netflix Standard (2 screens and regular HD) increased $1, from $13 to $14/month — 7.7%.
- Netflix Basic (1 screen, no HD) had no change, at $9/month.
New members will encounter the new prices immediately, while Netflix said existing customers will see changes to their bill over the coming months.
Disney+ will cost $8/month by March.
After just more than a year since launch, Disney+ will make their first price increase in March 2021 — jumping 14% from $7/month to $8/month.
The annual plan for Disney+ has been $69.99; it’ll now be $79.99.
This comes as Disney has announced a massive slate of exclusive Marvel and Star Wars shows coming over the next several years.
Hulu Live TV just got $10/month more expensive.
As of the Dec. 18 billing cycle, Hulu Live TV jumps from $54.99 to $64.99 per month, and the commercial-free version goes from $60.99 to $70.99.
This affects all new and existing subscribers.
Dodge the price increase with the Disney streaming bundle.
Disney offers a bundle of Disney+, Hulu, and ESPN+ for $12.99/month. The cost of just Hulu basic and Disney+ is $13.98/month, so you’re already saving with the $12.99/month bundle — plus you get ESPN.
There’s also a Hulu Live TV/Disney+/ESPN+ bundle for $71.99/month.
Get a cell phone plan with free streaming services.
T-Mobile is known for their Netflix on Us program, which gives Magenta cell phone plan members free Netflix.
Magenta subscribers get free Basic Netflix, while Magenta Plus customers get free Standard Netflix.
Pay for your Netflix membership with a discounted gift card.
Did you know Netflix has gift cards? You can use them to pay for your membership (or someone else’s).
Raise.com sells Netflix gift cards for 5% less than the value on the card. So that means you can buy $100 in gift cards for $95. If this is how you always pay for your Netflix subscription, that’ll make your monthly cost $17.10 rather than $18.00.
Every little bit helps.
Netflix no longer has a free trial.
As of October, Netflix stopped offering 30-day free trials to new subscribers. That’s a big bummer. Instead of free trials, they have a “Watch Free” page where anyone can watch a few select Netflix originals.