Last month, Netflix executives told investors that reducing subscription prices were out of the question. In a January earnings call, co-Chief Executive Greg Peters hinted the company might raise prices in regions where consumers can afford the streaming service. But in the last week, first reported by Cord Cutters News and now The Wall Street Journal, the streaming giant slashed subscription prices in over 30 countries.
In what appears to be a rare move, Netflix reduced prices across Middle Eastern countries, including Iran, Jordan, Yemen, and Libya; sub-Saharan African markets, including Kenya; and European countries, such as Bulgaria, Croatia, and Slovenia.
In Central and South America, Nicaragua, Ecuador, and Venezuela have seen reductions in subscription costs. In Asia, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, and the Philippines have also seen reductions.
Cord Cutters News provided an example of the price drops in the Balkans. They said:
"Netflix now charges 4.99 EUR for its basic plan, down from 7.99. The standard plan now costs 7.99, down from 9.99 EUR. The Premium plan costs 9.99, down from 11.99 EUR."
Meanwhile, US customers have seen their monthly subscription prices rise over the last few years. There was no relief for North America.
"It definitely goes against the recent trends not just for Netflix, but for the broader streaming industry," John Hodulik, entertainment analyst at UBS Group AG, wrote in a note. He said. "Some of these cuts on a percentage basis are substantial."
A commenter on Cord Cutters News said:
Honestly, I don't watch Netflix as much now, as when I first cut the cord. One more price hike is all it will take for me to drop it. There is so much content out there, between streaming, and the antenna, that I would have a problem justifying paying for the diminishing quality and quantity of programming, they are putting out.
Shares of Netflix trading in the premarket were mixed following news via WSJ.
Perhaps the end of free Netflix password sharing has led to an exodus of users.
Keeping a @netflix subscription after their changed password policy ain’t it. Everybody should boycott Netflix and let them know that they don’t have a grip over the consumer. A $160B company not being able to have people share accounts is ridiculous. @shellswatso on TikTok: pic.twitter.com/F2HIqQPyVb— Michael Scuderi (@Hailthemic) February 13, 2023
We wonder if the price cuts are a sign user growth is waning and if this is a ploy by management to ensure user growth rates don't fall off a cliff.