This week, Netflix announced that for only the fourth time in its history, it would be raising U.S. subscription prices across the board. It's for the same reason prices crept up in October 2017: that sweet, sweet original content. Even if you only watch a few shows a month, Netflix is still a pretty good deal. Some customers and analysts are starting to wonder, though, how much wiggle room streaming services really have.
Frank Pallotta, writing for CNN Business, dug into the available numbers (Netflix is pretty cagey on its subscriber base, but that's not all that's on offer). He cites a 2018 study that Americans' appetites for streaming services are pretty strong: We're willing to subscribe to six, on average, and we're willing to drop about $38 each month on streaming.
That might cause some problems down the road. More and more media companies are spinning off their own streaming platforms; in the case of Disney, that will mean no more animated classics or Marvel blockbusters on any other providers. As companies like Netflix seek out more profits without burdening its customer base too much, they may resort to options like limiting password-sharing, and even the very thing cord-cutters most want to avoid: in-program advertising.
Then again, it could all come down to all those exclusive shows, in the end. "If you keep adding more content that people like, then the price point is a moving target," media analyst Rich Greenfield told CNN Business. "There isn't really a ceiling."