By David Pierce
Death. Taxes. All your streaming services getting a little more expensive all the time. These are the new certainties in life, it seems.
In recent years, as the streaming TV and movie business has gotten more competitive and companies around Hollywood have thrown billions into building their own platforms and libraries in order to compete with Netflix, participating in the streaming era has gotten steadily more expensive.
Netflix has raised the cost of its subscription multiple times since its launch. Disney Plus, Hulu, and ESPN Plus have all gotten more expensive as Disney has invested more in streaming. Paramount Plus, Peacock, Shudder, Starz — practically any service you can name — charges more per month than it did a few years ago. Even as many of these services add ads to their platforms, they’re still charging more.
What’s behind all this wallet-raiding? A confluence of things. As more customers cancel cable, more quickly than anyone expected, the studios and distributors are looking for a way to make up the lost revenue. Good shows and movies are more in demand — and thus more expensive — than ever.
After a decade of spending money like it was going out of style because all investors cared about were subscriber numbers, Hollywood players of all sizes have found themselves needing to actually make money to stay in business.
Companies are looking for any way they can to improve their bottom line. They’re cracking down on password sharing, canceling shows for tax breaks, and even selling their prized content to other platforms. But the most common strategy is simply to charge you, the viewer, more. A dollar here, two dollars there. Add it all up, and the golden era of TV suddenly has a pretty startling ticket price.
We’re tracking all the price increases and other changes from streaming services so you can make sure you’re only paying for what you want. (We’ll also include discounts and deals, though those seem to happen less and less.) Here’s the latest:
The monthly price of ad-free Discovery Plus is jumping up in cost from $6.99 per month to $8.99 per month (plus taxes), Warner Bros. Discovery announced on Tuesday. The new price is effective Tuesday, meaning that if you’re already a subscriber, you’ll see the higher price on your “next billing cycle on or after November 2,” the company says. The streaming service’s “ad-lite” tier will stay the same price, meaning you can still get it for $4.99 per month.
Discovery Plus gives you access to more than 70,000 episodes of shows from networks like TLC, HGTV, Discovery, and Lifetime, meaning it’s a great choice for people looking to watch reality shows and unscripted series. Just read my colleague Emma Roth’s article about why she pays for Discovery Plus to get an idea of what’s on offer. And since you can’t get all Discovery Plus content on Max, Warner Bros. Discovery’s other streaming service, there’s still a reason to pay for the now-more-expensive price for the Discovery-focused subscription.
This article originally appeared here and was republished with permission.