Streaming Subscriptions See Price Hikes and Official Netflix Sharing Expansion

Streaming Subscriptions See Price Hikes and Official Netflix Sharing Expansion
(Image: Riccardo Milani / Hans Lucas via Reuters Connect)

In 2023, there was a noticeable surge in prices for various video streaming services, marking it as the year of subscription fee hikes. Netflix took a groundbreaking step by officially allowing subscription sharing across different households for an extra charge. However, this move translated to an increased cost for everyone engaging in account sharing, making the shared Netflix experience a pricier affair.

These changes are prompting more streaming users to rethink having multiple subscriptions running concurrently and whether it’s financially viable. About a year back, Paramount+ made its debut in Germany, adding to the array of options. For new customers keen on 4K quality and juggling Apple TV+, Disney+, Netflix, Paramount+, and Prime Video simultaneously, the monthly bill racks up to a hefty 56.95 Euros.

Disney and Apple also adjusted their subscription prices upwards by 3 Euros per month this year. Consequently, a Disney+ 4K subscription now sets you back 11.99 Euros monthly, while Apple TV+ demands 9.99 Euros per month.

Existing Apple TV+ subscribers are already paying the increased price. However, those who subscribed to Disney+ before the price hike are still enjoying the lower rate of 8.99 Euros per month, thankfully.

The duration of this pricing grace period remains uncertain. Those who signed up for Disney+ through Telekom can stick to the old price until October 2024.

Companies are pushing for ad-supported subscriptions, hoping to sway customers in that direction. The idea is that such subscriptions increase monthly revenue without a direct hike in subscription costs, provided users engage with the ad-supported model. However, in Germany, getting audiences accustomed again to ad breaks during streaming might take some time.

For instance, Netflix’s ad-supported plan (g+) doesn’t interrupt movies with ads after they start, only showing ads at the beginning.

Disney takes it up a notch: in their ad-supported Disney+ plan, all movies, including older titles, stream without interruptions. Ads only pop up before the movie starts. But as of now, other major providers in Germany haven’t introduced ad-supported subscriptions.

Netflix made headlines by officially allowing subscription sharing. With the price hike in some countries during fall 2023, a similar increase is expected for Germany next year. Those sharing a Netflix subscription against the rules have to shell out more since May 2023. However, sharing across multiple households has been officially permitted since then.

Sharing Netflix with one additional household adds 4.99 Euros to the bill each month. If you share with two more households, that’s an extra 9.98 Euros per month. The latter option is only possible with the Premium subscription, pushing the monthly charges from 17.99 Euros to 27.97 Euros.

Cutting down on simultaneous subscriptions can significantly reduce costs. All providers allow users to pause subscriptions for a few months while retaining personal data like watch history and favorites. This approach could slash monthly expenses by subscribing strategically for shorter periods.

This shift poses challenges for subscription providers aiming for a consistent stream of long-term subscribers to cover their streaming content costs. Some, like Apple and Paramount, are considering bundled offerings to encourage extended subscription durations.

Sharing streaming subscriptions ends up saving costs for subscribers, despite being against most providers’ policies, yet continues to happen regardless.

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Carl Woodrow
A seasoned tech enthusiast and writer, Carl delves deep into emerging technologies, offering insightful analysis and reviews on the latest gadgets and trends.