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Thursday 2 October 2014

Unwanted price rise drama for Irish Netflix users

Published 23/04/2014 | 02:30

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House of Cards is one of the most popular shows on Netflix; the company is set to raise its price for Irish subscribers
House of Cards is one of the most popular shows on Netflix; the company is set to raise its price for Irish subscribers

IRISH Netflix users could be hit by two price rises this year.

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New Irish users will not be spared a general price increase announced yesterday.

It had been hoped that because Ireland was used as a test country for a price rise in January, it would be spared any further subscription hike.

But a spokesman for the movie-streaming company, said that a second rise is "likely" to apply to new Irish users within months.

This means that there will be three different subscription fee levels for Irish Netflix users, depending on when the user joined.

For pre-2014 subscribers, the rate stays at €7 per month until the end of 2015. For those who joined between January – when the rate rose to €8 per month for new users – and the next price increase, it will remain at €8 a month for the forseeable future.

However, new users from this summer are likely to face a subscription fee of €9 a month or thereabouts.

It is unclear whether a fourth tariff – €12 a month for those who want to view the service on four screens simultaneously – will also see a price rise.

Netflix is estimated to have at least 175,000 Irish users.

"As expected, we saw limited impact from our January price increase for new members in Ireland (from €6.99 to €7.99), which included grandfathering all existing members at €6.99 for two years," said an earnings statement from Netflix last night.

Netflix is facing price pressure on three fronts. First, a company that wants more subscribers, it must pay for films and TV programmes.

It must also get material usually only available to DVD rental firms or premium subscription channels, such as Sky's movie channels.

Secondly, it faces rising costs from making its own TV series, including political thriller 'House of Cards' and prison drama 'Orange Is The New Black'.

Finally, TV and movie studios believe they can extract higher fees from Netflix for existing content.

Irish Independent

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