During its financial results meeting yesterday, Netflix reminded its shareholders that the price-reduced grandfathered plans of long-time subscribers will be ending in 2016 (via Engadget). Grandfathered subscribers can choose to opt out of the imminent price hike, but it means they will lose access to HD quality streams.
Beginning in an undisclosed window of the second or third quarter of 2016, those members will be offered a choice: stay with the $7.99 price and get lowered to SD-quality video streaming, or upgrade to $9.99 per month to stick with HD-quality videos. Netflix introduced three new tiers for new members onto the service back in October, including the two previously mentioned $7.99 and $9.99 options, along with a "Premium" $11.99 tier that gives viewers access to 4K.
The first word regarding an incoming price increase for older Netflix users came nearly two years ago, so it might have been easy for grandfathered members to forget about the added money they'd have to pay to use the service in 2016. Still, Netflix calls its customers "loyal," and doesn't think the price jump will be a big deterrent for most grandfathered subscribers, especially thanks to the amount of original programming the service is producing this year.
"Given these members have been with us at least 2 years," the company points out, "we expect only slightly elevated churn. In 2016, we plan to launch over 600 hours of original programming, up from about 450 hours in 2015."
Similar to when it announced the two-year hold on price jumps for grandfathered accounts, the company is expected to send affected customers a warning email before the new charges begin.