The good news is that Netflix is doubling down on creating its own high-quality shows and movies. If you love Stranger Things, Chef's Table, and House of Cards, there's more on the horizon. The bad news is Netflix expects you to kick in for the tab.
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American subscribers will see a jump in some pricing tiers later this month. If you pay $9.99 for a standard subscription, which lets you view content on two screens, expect to see that go up to $10.99. For the Ultra-HD premium subscription, that increases from $11.99 to $13.99 each month. However, if you've stuck with the basic plan with its single screen, you're in luck — that's not changing from its current $7.99 price point.
All this stems from Netflix's recent commitment to spend $6 billion on new projects in 2018. That includes everything from documentaries to comedy specials to hosted shows, such as Chelsea Handler's Chelsea. Streaming services are now racing to the top on original content. Hulu has now won Emmys for The Handmaid's Tale, and Amazon's Transparent continues to drive national conversations. Even Facebook is getting in the game, offering both live and taped programming, largely in the reality TV and documentary space.
All that may leave you wondering whether streaming services are really that much of a deal compared with cable packages. With Disney splitting from Netflix and taking its content with it, the number of different subscriptions you need is starting to stack up. That's not even counting more traditional studios like HBO Go or Showtime, plus music services like Tidal or Spotify.
Either way, if you're a standard or a premium Netflix subscriber, add a few dollars into your budget for bills. You'll know whether it's worth it when Netflix's slate of new programming comes down the pipeline.