Is Netflix planning to raise prices again?

Already? The last price hike was in 2016.

US Online Streaming Giant Netflix : Illustration
Getty Images | Pascal Le Segretain

News that Netflix temporarily hiked its prices in Australia to see how customers reacted has caused speculation that Netflix may again raise their prices in the U.S.

No subscribers were actually charged in the test——it was just a change to advertised rates for new users—but the change was enough to get a lot of people wondering about future prices.

Netflix’s most recent price hike in the U.S. was in 2016, when the price of a standard HD plan rose to $10 per month, from $9 for new users and $8 for longer-term customers. According to The Australian, the prices in this test rose anywhere from $1 for standard service to $3 for premium.

This all comes as Australia is about to implement a “Netflix tax” on July 1. The new tax will apply the country’s 10 percent goods and services tax to things like digital content and games (i.e., streaming services). But even though that tax isn’t all over the U.S., that doesn’t mean it won’t be. Pennsylvania already has a similar tax, so don’t be surprised if it soon spreads across the country.

While any price hike is not welcome, streaming services continue to be cheaper than most cable packages. A lot of Americans are cutting the cord, parting ways with cable and instead opting to stream their entertainment. Remember, however, that if you have all the streaming services (Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, etc.), your costs might not be that different than cable. It’s best to weigh the pros and cons of both, including possible price increases and taxes.

Or, you could always ditch both routes and go back to the original entertainment source—a trip to Blockbuster! You might have to move to Alaska though; video rental is booming there. But hey, if the prices do indeed keep increasing, we’re all going to have to figure out something!

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