North Texas Daily

Column: Netflix to raise its streaming price soon

Column: Netflix to raise its streaming price soon

Column: Netflix to raise its streaming price soon
April 24
01:35 2014

Obed Manuel // Senior Staff Writer

If you’re a broke college student looking to join Netflix, it may be time to reconsider the move.

Earlier this week, Netflix announced it will raise the price of its instant streaming service by $1 or $2 for new subscribers before July, reported by the Associated Press. Current subscribers will continue paying $8 dollars per month for at least the next year.

Netflix CEO Reed Hastings told the AP the hike comes as part of a push by Netflix to expand its streaming library and produce more exclusive shows like “House of Cards” and “Orange is the New Black.”

“When we look at the shows and movies that we will be able to get if we have a bigger budget, it’s exciting,” Hastings told The Associated Press. “We want to make the service better and better so more people will join.”

When I first heard the news, I was a bit disappointed, but figured consumers would benefit if the company is going to make an earnest attempt to improve the quality of its library.

If Netflix can somehow produce another show of similar quality to “House of Cards,” – undoubtedly the best exclusive on the service – I would happily pay the extra $1.

Seeing Kevin Spacey knock the wind out of Washington as Frank Underwood as he  leaves his political opponents in the dust is well worth the money.

The same goes for “Orange is the New Black,” a show that challenges the traditional male-dominated story arcs that occupy TVs and computer screens not only by presenting us with a strong female lead but also surrounding her with a cast of other dynamic female characters.

I sincerely hope that the folks pitching pilot ideas to the Netflix bigwigs have some juicy material that can be fleshed out into full seasons we can binge watch in a day or two. But we won’t get the pleasure of divulging ourselves with HBO shows, for those we need a different subscription.

Amazon announced early Wednesday that it had signed a multi-year deal with HBO to stream hit shows like “The Sopranos” and “The Wire” exclusively on its Amazon Prime service, Forbes reported.

HBO content that aired three years ago will be available on Amazon Prime starting May 21. While the deal looks awesome on paper, “Game of Thrones” and other shows like “Girls” and “Veep” will not be available yet.

So is Amazon Prime a valid replacement for Netflix?

Having used Amazon Prime for a year now and seeing how the streaming library has greatly improved since April 2013, I would say “Yes.”

However, because an Amazon Prime membership comes with free two-day shipping, specials discounts, free e-book renting and an upcoming music streaming service, it costs $99 for a year upfront.

That breaks down to $8.25 per month for all those services.

Netflix does have the advantage of allowing subscribers to opt out of monthly charges.

At some point in the past year, I ended up using both services in the same month (sometimes in the same day). I can safely report that Amazon takes the cake when it comes to how well it presents its content.

I have searched and searched Netflix for what to watch and have simply ended up re-watching “Louie” or “Breaking Bad.”

When streaming shows on Amazon Prime, the service presents users with the option to purchase seasons that are not available for free streaming with Prime, which is just a tad misleading.

If you currently subscribe to Netflix, you won’t see the price difference for at least a year. That’s a whole year for Amazon to revamp its own library and provide everything Netflix can’t.

Verdict?

My Amazon Prime membership expires in a few days and I have yet to decide whether or not to renew. Plus, the DVR at my parents’ house has a few episodes of “The Bridge” and “Mad Men” that I need to watch, so I’m set for a few weeks after the semester ends.

24netflix

Graphic by: Natalie Vosberg / Copy Assistant

Feature photo: Netflix logo. Graphic courtesy of Netflix Facebook page. 

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