By Emma Roth
There was a moment, in 2019, when streaming services were one heck of a deal. Apple TV Plus was free if you bought any kind of Apple device; you could get Disney Plus for $4 per month and lock that price in for three years; Hulu lowered its price to stay competitive; and you could share your Netflix account with as many friends, family members, roommates, and exes as you liked.
Those days are now far behind us. This year alone, all of the major names in streaming — Netflix, Hulu, Disney Plus, Max, Apple TV Plus, Paramount Plus, and Peacock — have raised their prices. Netflix’s most expensive plan has officially crossed the $20 threshold, and other services are steadily headed in that direction. The price of streaming is at an all-time high.
Probably not anytime soon.
“Is there an upper bound where it’s going to get too expensive and people will just stop subscribing? Of course,” Paul Erickson, the principal at Erickson Strategy & Insights, tells The Verge. “But I think that we’re a long way from that.”
Netflix has guided the industry as the elder sibling in the streaming world. It’s had many years to experiment with its pricing tiers, types of content, and new features. Not only was the streamer the first to introduce a pricier Premium plan in April 2013 but it was also the first to raise the price of its base plan, bringing its Standard tier from $7.99 to $8.99 in 2014. (It is now nearly double where it started.)
This article originally appeared here and was republished with permission.