If you've been a Netflix user for as long as I have, you've probably noticed price hikes in the service overtime. Gone are the days of movie plans under $10 — that is, unless you're a select group of Netflix users that live in India. That's right: Netflix is reportedly testing a $4 monthly plan in India, but there's a catch to the low cost that limits the ways users can enjoy content on the streaming service. Elite Daily reached out to Netflix for confirmation of the reported plan, but did not hear back at the time of publication.
According to a report from The Economic Times, Netflix is apparently testing a mobile-only subscription plan with a small group of participants in India that costs only 250 rupees, or $3.62, for access to standard definition content on a single mobile or tablet screen at a time. The mobile-only plan costs half as much as Netflix's standard, entry-level plan in the country and about one-third as much as the streaming service's highest tier plane. A representative from Netflix told The Economic Times that while the company is testing the service in "select countries where members can watch Netflix on their mobile device for a lower price," there are no guarantees that the option will ever roll out as a permanent fixture in the subscription service, so don't hold your breath. Netflix did not immediately reply to Elite Daily's inquiry regarding the possibility of other countries getting the low-cost plan.
Netflix also apparently tested the plan in Malaysia at a similar price point last year, per reports from the publication.
While Indian Netflix is experimenting with lower cost options, Netflix's prices are increasing in the U.S., Latin America, and the Caribbean as of 2019. Here's the new price U.S. breakdown: Netflix’s cheapest Basic plan, which lets users watch non-HD content on one screen, increased by $1 to a $9 fee. Netflix's middle-tier Standard plan, which includes HD content on two screens, increased by $2 to a $13 charge, and Netflix's Premium plan, which includes access to content on four screens and ultra HD viewing options, increased by $2 to a $16 fee. The price hike took effect immediately upon being introduced in mid-January of this year. According to CNBC, these are the company's biggest price increases since Netflix launched its streaming service in 2007.
People on Twitter had varied reactions to the announcement of Netflix's price increases. Twitter user @MNicole1210 said, "#Netflix better be adding Drake and Josh, Zoey 101, and Avatar: The last Airbender with this monthly price increase," while Twitter user @JohnRadebaugh shared, "Don't mind at all when Netflix has a small price increase. You get so much for 15.99 per month"
CNBC notes that the price hike will pay for Netflix's enormous library of original content that includes both TV shows and films. According to Quartz, Netflix released a whopping 1,500 hours of original content over 345 titles in in 2018, spanning several categories from series, to documentaries, to stand-up specials. In fact, Netflix reportedly released more originals in 2018 than it acquired content, per Deadspin — which makes sense seeing as everyone's been hooked on Netflix originals like Stranger Things, Queer Eye, and Orange is The New Black since their respective premieres.
So while U.S. users likely won't have to make the decision to opt for a cheaper mobile-only plan anytime soon, longtime fans of the streaming service will have to decide if Netflix's new price hikes are worth it.