Netflix is raising its US prices by 13 to 18 per cent, its biggest increase since the company launched its video streaming service 12 years ago.
Its most popular plan will see prices raised to $US13 ($A18) per month from $US11.
The extra cash will help to pay for Netflix’s investment in original shows and films and finance the debt it has assumed to ward off rivals such as Amazon, Disney and AT&T.
While subscribers might bemoan a bigger monthly bill, Wall Street cheered, sending Netflix’s shares up 6.5 per cent on Tuesday.
This marks the fourth time that Netflix has raised its US prices with the last hike coming in late 2017. But this is the first time that higher prices will hit all its 58 million US subscribers.
Previously, Netflix had continued to offer a basic, $US8-a-month streaming plan while raising rates on more comprehensive plans with better video quality and options to watch simultaneously on different devices.
This time, the price for the cheapest plan is going up to $US9 per month, while the top-tier plan offering ultra-high definition will jump to $US16 per month from $US14.
The price hikes are expected to fetch Netflix hundreds of millions of dollars, ahead of the launch of streaming services from AT&T and Walt Disney.
Netflix has been pouring money to bolster its original content, which boasts award-winning shows such as The Crown, Black Mirror and Wild Wild Country, to fend off intensifying competition from players such as Amazon.com’s Prime Video service and Hulu.
While aggressive spending – a planned $US8 billion in 2018 – has led to a surge in subscriber growth, its debt doubled to $US6.50 billion in 2017 from $US3.36 billion in 2016.