Controversy swirls over Netflix, Hulu raising subscription prices


Photo used with permission from Google Commons

Netflix and Hulu streaming services on the TV.

Popular entertainment streaming services Netflix and Hulu have made recent changes to their monthly subscription prices. These decisions to raise prices have created controversy.

At the end of October, Netflix raised prices on standard and premium plans for U.S. customers. Its standard plan now costs $14 a month, a one-dollar increase over last year’s monthly plan. Its premium subscription price will go up two dollars, to $18 a month. The new prices will take effect starting immediately for new members, while current members will be notified their subscription is going up as it rolls out over the next few months. According to CNN, a spokesperson for Netflix explained the reason for the updating of prices is so they can continue to offer more variety of TV shows and movies.

Hulu is raising prices on its live TV streaming options as well. The new monthly prices are $10 more than their current fees and go into effect Dec.18. The price increase will apply to both current and new subscribers. Hulu began notifying subscribers of the increase. The new prices for the baseline Hulu and live TV with ads is rising to $64.99 per month, an increase of 18%. The Hulu and live TV without ads package price is rising to $70.99 per month, an increase of 16%.

With the pandemic people are stuck at home and the demand for these streaming services is higher than usual. With this in mind, streaming services are more valuable, having a library of options. The pandemic is disrupting content production so having a variety of shows and movies available is appealing to viewers.

Some students do not mind the price changes for Netflix and Hulu as it’s worth paying for. “Netflix and Hulu offer so many different shows and movies and obviously the price raise may not be ideal, but I like having the different options available and I will continue my subscriptions,” sophomore Alex Negussie said.

I think that in the current state of our country with the pandemic it was wrong for these companies to raise the prices.

— Riya Kohli

While some do not mind the price changes for these streaming services, others are annoyed by these companies’ decisions. “I use Netflix and Hulu all the time and have had subscriptions to both for a long time. I think that in the current state of our country with the pandemic it was wrong for these companies to raise the prices. During this time a lot of people may not be able to afford the price increase. Netflix and Hulu should have kept this in mind when deciding to raise the prices. With more people subscribing to Netflix and Hulu anyways there was no reason to raise the prices,” senior Riya Kohli said.

Students who do not have either Netflix or Hulu have strong views toward whether or not they will subscribe after the recent changes. “A lot of my friends have Netflix and Hulu and I have been looking to subscribe to both. I saw they raised the monthly prices recently, which made me think about if it was worth subscribing. Regular TV has nowhere near the content of Netflix and Hulu. I think they offer a lot of entertainment, which makes it worth subscribing to,” junior Sachin Krishna-Rogers said.