If you’ve been enjoying the golden age of live streaming, it’s time for a reality check. Major platforms such as Netflix, Disney+And Apple TV+ We are introducing price increases and new subscription levels that may significantly impact your monthly budget.
Then, in 2024, more companies (eg Amazon Prime Video And Paramount+) are planning possible price increases and the inclusion of advertising within the content being broadcast.
Gone are the days when a single subscription gave you access to a world of entertainment for a modest fee. As streaming services become increasingly indispensable in our daily lives, understanding these changes is crucial.
This guide aims to provide a comprehensive overview of the recent and upcoming price rises across different streaming platforms in the UK.
So, if you want to continue enjoying your favorite shows without spending a lot of money, read on.
Netflix: Identifying the trend for rising prices
Netflix, the American streaming giant, recently announced Another round of price hikes For its subscribers in the United Kingdom. This comes less than two years after the last significant increase.
New pricing structure, effective from October 18, 2023As follows:
Basic plan: This plan is only available to current subscribers who have registered Before it is stoppedA. will see Increase 1 poundranging in price from £6.99 per month to £7.99 per month. This plan allows you to stream HD (720p) content on one device at a time, without ads.
Premium plan: This plan will go up by £2, from £15.99 per month to a staggering amount £17.99 per month. It allows you to stream some UltraHD (4K) content on up to four devices at a time, without ads.
Standard with advertising plan: This plan is still in place £4.99 per month It lets you stream Full HD (1080p) content on two devices at the same time, but with ads (and without the ability to download content to watch offline).
Standard plan: This plan is still in place £10.99 per month It allows you to stream Full HD (1080p) content on up to two devices at the same time, without ads.
The price rise has been met with some controversy, especially given the backdrop of rising costs of living across the UK.
However, Netflix justifies these increases by pointing to its heavy investments in content, including original series, movies, and even live sporting events. In fact, Netflix spent over $17 billion on content last year alone.
Moreover, it was Netflix Take strict action against password sharing this year.
If you discover that you’re sharing your Netflix password outside of your immediate living environment, you’ll receive an email warning you that continued sharing will result in additional fees.
Specifically, each “additional member” you add to your account will cost an additional amount £4.99 Per month.
With the new prices, Netflix has become one of the most expensive streaming services in the UK, especially if you choose the premium plan. Therefore, it is worth considering whether the content and features justify the higher costs.
Disney+: Expensive renewal
Not only is Disney+ increasing its prices next week (at least for some), it’s doing so Repair offered in the UK.
Historically, Disney+ launched in the UK in March 2020 at £5.99 per month or £59.99 per year. The price has been increased to £7.99 Monthly or £79.90 annually in 2021.
from November 1the platform will introduce a new ad-supported tier called “Standard with Ads” at a price £4.99 per month, With HD (1080p) content and up to two simultaneous streams (but no downloads).
In addition, there is a “Standard without ads” category. £7.99 per month It will launch in full HD (1080p) and two streams – and the ability to download content to watch offline.
The current single tier we have known so far will move to the “premium” tier at a price £10.99 per month. As it stands today, it will support 4K/HDR video, Dolby Atmos audio, and up to 4 simultaneous streams.
Introducing ad-supported tiers is a strategic move by Disney+ to remain competitive and open up new revenue streams.
However, this also means that subscribers who want to continue enjoying an ad-free 4K experience will have to opt for the more expensive “Premium” tier.
Existing subscribers will continue with their current plan (soon to be renamed “Disney+ Premium”), but will have the option to switch to the new standard tiers.
However, existing subscribers will only keep their current prices until December 6. After that, they’ll be billed at the new rate starting in their next billing cycle (unless they switch to a different tier).
And if all this is not enough – Disney+ is now following Netflix’s lead By cracking down on password sharing. This effectively means an increase in prices for those who share their accounts with friends or family.
Apple TV+: The underdog gets expensive
Apple TV+ has also joined the bandwagon Streaming services are increasing their prices in the UK this week.
The service costs now £8.99 per month, up from the previous £6.99.
New subscribers will be charged the new prices immediately, while existing subscribers will see the change on their next billing date.
Apple TV+ was launched in November 2019 at a price £4.99 Monthly, with a one-year free trial for those who purchased new Apple devices.
The price then jumped to £6.99 per month in October 2022 – now it’s £8.99.
Apple TV+ is one of the few streaming services that doesn’t have a cheaper, ad-supported tier – so we’re sure to see one introduced at some point in the future.
The platform has gradually carved a niche for itself through original programming such as Ted Lasso, Cielo And institution.
However, higher prices could deter potential subscribers, especially given the platform’s relatively smaller content library compared to giants like Netflix and Disney+.
Prime Video: Announcements are coming
Amazon Prime Video is planning a big platform change for 2024 It will display limited ads For its audience in the United Kingdom.
Those who want to continue watching without ads will have to pay more, although the exact cost of this new ad-free tier in the UK has not yet been revealed (but we know it will be $2.99 per month in the US).
Prime Video has been part of Amazon Prime membership, which costs £95 per year It includes other benefits such as free delivery.
Introducing ads represents a departure from Prime Video’s original value proposition of an ad-free experience.
While Amazon maintains that the ads will be “significantly fewer” than those shown on traditional TV, offering any ads could be a sticking point for subscribers.
For those who prefer an ad-free experience, this effectively amounts to a price increase, just like the recent changes with Disney+.
Paramount+: The new kid on the block
Paramount+ is the latest platform to announce upcoming changes to its subscription tiers.
However, while New levels featured and supported by ads Confirmed in several international markets, it’s still unclear when or if these changes will come to the UK.
currently, Paramount+ Costs £6.99 per month or £69.90 per year in the UK.
The platform has not changed its price since its launch in the United Kingdom 15 months ago. However, with international changes coming, the question looms: Are we headed towards UK price changes?
The Premium plan is designed to provide a high-quality viewing experience, supporting 4K UHD, HDR10, and Dolby Vision for HDR (4K is currently not available on Paramount+ in the UK).
The ad-supported tier aims to balance subscription revenue with ad revenue. If these changes reach the UK, it could significantly impact the platform’s pricing structure.
Sky’s NOW: Expensive but stable for now
While other streaming services are raising their prices, Sky’s NOW service (formerly NOW TV) remains an exception, at least for now.
NOW currently offers entertainment and cinema deals on £9.99 per month all.
Add NOW Boost to get more £6 per monthwhich provides high-definition streaming and removes ads, at a monthly cost of £25.98.
This makes NOW one of the pricier streaming options in the UK, even without the recent price increases (and without taking into account Sky Sports’ £34.99 per month membership) – although They usually offer discounted rates.
Although the service has maintained stable pricing for a long time, its high initial cost means that it is far from being a budget-friendly option.
As of now, there is no indication that NOW plans to adjust its prices, but given the industry trend, a future increase would not be surprising.
Final Thoughts: The streaming landscape amid rising costs
The UK streaming landscape is in flux, with more and more households embracing subscription video on demand (SVOD). Streaming services Despite the high costs.
According to Barb’s latest data, 67.3% of UK households had access to an SVOD service in Q3 2023, up from 65.9% in the previous quarter.
While Netflix and Amazon Prime Video continue to dominate, being accessed in 58.2% and 45.3% of UK homes respectively, new entrants such as Disney+ and Apple TV+ are also gaining more ground.
Interestingly, Sky’s NOW service, one of the pricier options, has seen a slight decline in its reach, suggesting that its high cost may be a deterrent for some – which may also explain why it hasn’t joined the price hike party this year (so far on the least).
As prices continue to rise, consumers face increasingly difficult choices. The value proposition of each service is now under greater scrutiny, forcing us to weigh the benefits against the increased costs.
One thing to remember is flexibility Cut the TV cord Allow. Unlike pay TV contracts (like the ones you sign with Sky, Virgin Media and BT), streaming services don’t usually come with long-term commitments.
So, most people don’t need all the streaming services all the time. You can subscribe to Netflix for two months to watch new shows you care about, then you can easily cancel.
Next month, you can jump on the Disney+ bandwagon for a month or two. Then switch to Paramount+. Then, maybe go on vacation and cancel everything for a month.
As we approach 2024, we can only be sure of one thing: price increases will unfortunately continue.
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