Netfile and Chill…Out: Prices Getting Too High

Jonah White, Staff Writer

As a college student, what do I do after a long, stressful day of work and classes? I usually like to relax to my favorite episodes of The Office or Parks and Recreation that I can watch over and over again thanks to my pals over at Netflix and Hulu who made my favorite shows and many, many others available to me at the click of a couple buttons. Paying for a Netflix subscription is costly enough, but earlier this month, they just got even more costly. If you’re one of those people who uses someone else’s account to get free viewing of your favorite television shows and movies, good for you, but you might want to throw a couple of dollars that person’s way because they might be struggling soon enough due to the recent increase in monthly subscriptions that Netflix has to offer.

Netflix actually was founded in 1997 and began as a mailing service, where you could rent a movie and have it sent to your home, and once you were done, you just sent it back on its merry way. These subscription plans began at a solid $7.99 a month and this, along with Redbox, started to put places like Blockbuster out of business (due to this, I will never forgive Netflix for ruining family Friday movie nights for me). Netflix and their lowest subscription prices for their streaming services have gone up more and more over the years. Streaming DVDs in 2008 began at a low price of $4.99, in 2011 the prices went to $7.99, 2014 the prices were brought up to $10.99 a month, which is where it stayed, until this month. Netflix’s smallest subscription, which only allows for one person to stream a television show or a movie, is now going to be $12.99 a month. Then their most popular plan, the plan that allows for multiple streams to happen simultaneously, has gone up from $13.99 to $15.99 a month. Now like I said, this is good for all of those people who are lucky that they are loved enough to be allowed to use someone else’s Netflix for free, but it is looking like those who are actually paying for their subscriptions are becoming furious over what seems like such a small increase each month.

I took to social media to see what the thoughts were from my former fellow Netflix users, seeing how they felt about the sudden change in prices, and it was not looking too pretty. I saw a lot of people complaining and saying they are switching over to Hulu and HBO subscriptions. They argue and say that Netflix should not raise their prices because the content that they have is just not good enough for the increase. These people are demanding that Netflix release better stuff for the amount of money that people are paying. I guess Stranger Things just isn’t enough for them. People are also blaming the Friends scare that happened recently, as well as the reason for the price increases. Last month, Netflix announced that they would not be renewing their deal with the studio that airs Friends, and America went into an outrage, which sort of forced Netflix to make a new $130 million deal to keep the show eligible for their streams. Some people said that Netflix should refund that money and give Friends back so the prices can go back to being lower. Then lastly, along the lines of the lack of content, Netflix recently cancelled some popular shows that revolved around the Marvel universe like Daredevil and Luke Cage. This seemed to be the last straw for users, and Netflix soon might see quite the drop in their total subscriptions for the year.

Now, if you are one of those people who are working hard and paying for your subscriptions and you are looking to part ways with Netflix, just like many others, there are definitely some options for you out there. Now for me personally, I just switched over to Hulu, and I feel like they have much more to offer when it comes to their content. Plus, they just announced this week that their cheapest package will be even cheaper, going from $8 a month to only $6 a month. Then, also for the same price that Netflix is now offering their streams, HBO is there to possibly steal the show. HBO arguably has much better content with all of their award-winning shows like Game of Thrones, and they also have newer released movies that can be watched.

Whatever streaming service you use, I am sure you will be happy, and hopefully you are getting your money’s worth. These prices seem to be fluctuating all the time, so it’s always good to be aware of how much you are paying each month for these services, because it truly adds up every month, especially for us college students.