Existing customers will have a "generous" grace period before the higher pricing kicks in

For those that have been tempted to try out Netflix’s $7.99/month streaming plan and have not yet signed up, you may want to go ahead and get your foot in the door before the digital media giant starts raising prices.

Netflix CEO Reed Hastings
In its Q1 letter to shareholders, Netflix stated its case, noting that it raised its streaming prices earlier this year for customers in Ireland (from €6.99 to €7.99) with minimal impact on its subscriber base. Following that positive trial run, Netflix is looking to hit U.S. customers with a price increase later this year:
Our current view is to do a one or two dollar increase, depending on the country, later this quarter for new members only. Existing members would stay at current pricing (e.g. $7.99 in the U.S.) for a generous time period. These changes will enable us to acquire more content and deliver an even better streaming experience.
Allowing existing customers to keep their $7.99 plan for an extended period of time (Netflix is giving its Irish customers a two-year grace period) is a nice gesture, and one that is likely to soften the blow for heavy users of the service. And the fact that Netflix plans to use the additional funds its stands to gain from a price increase in order to provide additional content for customers is an added bonus.
In other news, Netflix also announced in the shareholder letter that it now has 35.7 million U.S. subscribers and 12.7 million international subscribers. The company also reported Q1 2014 profit of $53.1 million compared to a “mere” $2.7 million for Q1 2013.

Source: Netflix [PDF]

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